Baxter’s noble role in election reform

The letter printed in The Hatchet’s Jan. 24 edition (SA’s dubious `reforms,’ p. 5) regarding the recent adoption of a new SA elections charter demonstrates the very reason I hold the typical GW student in contempt. Rather then actually make an intelligent critique of the election process, the writer stoops to unfounded and false attacks against the integrity of Jeff Baxter, a man who has probably done a lot more for GW than the writer.

The letter’s premise is that because he perceives the possibility of corruption, it exists and therefore taints all senators who endorsed the new charter. It’s difficult to not take some personal offense at that assertion, since I assisted Baxter in drafting the charter at issue.

Speaking for myself, I can assure the writer that I am not trying to fix the election for anyone. As a former JEC member, I had a decent insight into the process and helped Baxter draft a proposal, which he then had vetted by a committee of his peers – people who have actually been involved in the election process.

The writer makes a number of general assumptions about political people, none of which are relevant to the matter he is criticizing. If he feels that Baxter or anyone has taken any specific action with regard to the charter that is corrupt, then he should come out and say it. Otherwise, it would be best if he said nothing at all.

The writer bemoans, the time has arrived for student government to stand up and serve as an example of students acting with integrity and intelligence. That is precisely what Baxter was trying to do. Where was the writer when Phil Meisner, the former SA president, was breaking election rules in order to obtain office? Where was he when the same Meisner committed crimes to that same end and when he wasted the students’ money in questionable schemes? I saw no letter to The Hatchet from the author then, so it is difficult to take his complaints all that seriously now.

In the end, it is the students who are getting the student government they deserve. When they turn a blind eye to rampant corruption, yet jump on the honest man who takes a chance and tries to do what is right, then they deserve unscrupulous leaders such as Phil Meisner, Cat Sadler, and Ed Meinert.

-The writer is a former GW student.

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