As the paper of record for the University, The GW Hatchet’s Feb. 8 editorial “Crying Wolf” was a crying shame. Tuition will go up. As an organizer of the rally, I acknowledge and accept that. If the point of the rally was to prevent a tuition increase, The Hatchet is correct that it would have been a pointless rally. However, this was not the point of the rally, and I challenge The Hatchet to find where anyone associated with the rally said that it was.
There were compelling reasons for the rally that The Hatchet overlooked in its attempt to place a conclusively negative spin on the event. The same organizers of the rally who were criticized in the editorial are the leaders who exiled passivity from the Student Association. Past tuition increases have been merely reacted to by the SA, an approach that was acknowledged to be too little, too late. The SA tendency to be reactive is long gone.
The current leadership is committed to taking on the University on student’s terms. To do so, we need big, dramatic actions that remake the dynamic between the students and the administration. That is what this rally was all about. It is a formula that has worked in the past and, criticism of The Hatchet not withstanding, it will work in the future.
Your SA leaders worked hard to put the administration into the position of having a small tuition increase as the only acceptable increase. We did this by raising the awareness of students about the costs of attending GW and having a frank, direct conversation with the administration about these issues. This has happened in the SA office, the University president’s office and on the streets of Foggy Bottom. But we have been unable to do so in this paper, for reasons that I have yet to grasp.
I would suggest that The Hatchet stick to journalism and let the SA handle tuition issues lest your editorial board sabotage the SA’s efforts to work on behalf of students yet again.
-Jesse Strauss is executive vice president of the Student Association.