While I will never say a person should not have his or her own opinions, it is important, I think, for everyone’s opinions to be informed. The op-ed “SA needs to get a clue,” published in the Oct. 13 issue of The GW Hatchet (p. 5) was definitely not an informed opinion piece.
Mr. Meinert’s op-ed cited that the Student Association Senate has held two “poorly attended town hall meetings.” We have not yet had any town halls, poorly attended or otherwise. And what, pray tell, has Mr. Meinert done with his position as director of tuition action?
The Senate actually has worked on a lot of projects since the beginning of this school year. In terms of resolutions, we have several on the floor reforming our own processes, so that we may be more efficient, and quite a few more advocating for student concerns.
But perhaps more important is our job of advocacy without legislation. In several instances, more may be accomplished by senators by going and directly speaking to administrators rather than passing legislation. It is for this reason that many times senators’ efforts go unnoticed. If more people only knew about the meetings that take place with deans of schools, heads of departments and the like, maybe there would not be such a negative view of the Student Association.
Of course there are people who are title-happy and use their Senate business cards to pick people up at bars, but more importantly there are a lot of us who legitimately want to help students. Generally, what it comes down to is when people have titles, they are more easily granted interviews with University administrators.
Rather than list all the things the Senate has accomplished thus far, I would like to extend an invitation out to the entire GW community to attend our “Participation Celebration” Oct. 27 at 7:30 p.m. in Thurston Hall. This event, contrary to Mr. Meinert’s opinion that we only like to “pat ourselves on the back,” is geared toward students not already involved with the SA. It will inform people of goals we already have achieved, publicize goals we hope to achieve and provide a forum for student concerns.
I may not be able to speak for other senators, but I can certainly speak for myself – I have been getting in touch with my constituents. I have been advocating for their concerns.
And honestly, one might be surprised at the number of times we as senators do not have to find our constituents, quite frequently they come to us and ask for our help or advice. That ultimately is what we are here for, not to hold town halls or pass resolutions.
-The writer is an Elliott School of International Affairs undergraduate senator.