Missing the positive side of the SA

My compliments to the editors of The GW Hatchet for amusing us all once again with their attempt to act like a real newspaper. While it failed, as usual, it did provide another glimpse into the “ivory tower” mentality that now seems to dominate The Hatchet.

First off, I will gladly confess to being the insane lunatic who had the time on his hands to take the Student Association to its own court over what I contend is a violation of its own charter. My mental state or motivations, however, hardly justify the ignorant and whiny hissy fit thrown by the editors in their Feb. 18 editorial “Wanted: Judge Judy” (p. 4).

Second, I would like to take this opportunity to announce that on the evening of Feb. 18, I informed the Student Court that I was withdrawing my complaint against all defendants in the now-infamous Oliva v. Potter, et al.

I have decided to end this case now even though I continue to believe that the issues raised in my complaint had merit. While I am gratified by the support my arguments have received from members of the Student Association, I nonetheless concluded that to pursue this matter any further – at least as “litigation” – would be detrimental to the Student Association.

To be crystal-clear on this matter, when I say “detrimental,” I do not use that term to describe the potential impact a decision by the court in my favor would have had. Rather, the detriment would be from the fact that my case would continue to fuel the unrelenting smear campaign being propagated by the editors of The Hatchet to undermine the Student Association and its many outstanding members.

What amazes me is that The Hatchet felt an uncontrollable desire to attack my little case (and this was a minor matter, let us keep that in mind). If The Hatchet wanted an SA-related matter to address in its editorial, why not speak of the positive actions that other SA members were doing on behalf of the students?

For example, at last week’s Senate meeting, a series of resolutions were unanimously passed dealing with issues such as expanding payment options for commuter students who have to park on campus, development of online “balance sheets” for students to check their academic progress, and keeping Student Health open till 7 p.m. two evenings a week. All of these matters represent actual progress on issues within the SA’s purview.

While The Hatchet hates to acknowledge it, there are in fact a good number of SA members who have been working hard this year on issues relevant to GW students. Perhaps The Hatchet is upset that there are no “big issues” to incite the sort of “picket signs” and “civil disobedience” the editors mistakenly thought my court case was designed to cause. Perhaps The Hatchet’s editors are all too consumed with the need to fuel their journalistic egos that they are blind to the well-intentioned and quality work that SA members perform every day at GW.

My sincerest apologies to those SA members whose work may have been overlooked as a result of my brief litigation. While certainly not my intent, the continuation of my case would have served as a distraction by providing The Hatchet with another petty excuse to engage in SA-bashing. As someone who greatly respects many of the individuals in the Student Association, I refuse to continue my court case at their expense.

Finally, I would note that nowhere in The Hatchet’s editorial were the merits of my complaint attacked. I will take that, as the court might, to mean that The Hatchet was conceding that I am correct.

At the end of the day, while I would agree that the SA plays “make-believe government” on occasion, more often then not The Hatchet is a supporting player as the “make-believe newspaper.”

-S.M. “Skip” Oliva is a junior majoring in history.

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