At what point do student groups have the right to do as they please? The Hatchet seems to imply (Uniform policy, Feb. 7) that the same strict codes of conduct regarding Greek-letter events with alcohol ought to be applied to student groups as well. There is a cry for equal enforcement, an absolutely just and fair demand.
But we should remember that there is a better way to promote equal enforcement. No student group should ever be in the position where it has to answer to vague and poorly explained rules. Furthermore, student groups should never have to plow through pages of paperwork, two-week deadlines (or more), and judicial hearings simply to hold an event of their choosing. The goal is not to further bind the hands of student groups but release them from the bondage of overzealous GW bureaucrats.
In the case of the Pakistani Students Association, regardless of their criticized leadership, the University should take no punitive actions. Members of every student group on this campus gather together in private to hold social gatherings.
Under current rules, if a great proportion of any student group is in attendance at an event, the event is considered sponsored by that group. In the past this has only been stringently applied to the Greek-letter community, student groups have been lucky to avoid these ill-conceived policies. Students should think twice before promoting sanctions against the PSA for not registering a party at which alcohol will be served.
Although the outcome of the party may not have been desired, there should be no role for the University in dictating the rules of any event held off GW property. This should apply both to events publicly sponsored by the organization and those with a majority of any group in attendance.
Unfortunately, with a dearth in strong student leadership, our representatives to the SA (mired in political intrigue and slow to act) have yet to denounce these terrible policies that plague our Greek-letter members and soon all other groups. We need people who are willing to stand up to the all-powerful GW bureaucracy if we want any chance at self-governance. Currently, we are willing to sit back as the administration railroads our fellow students. Some of us even seem to be cheering them on.
As to those of you who still believe the University has a role in dictating the moral character of our student organizations, one need look no further than The Hatchet. If, at any point, GW tried to sanction The Hatchet’s writings because they reflected poorly on the University, students would be in an uproar (not to mention The Hatchet itself, decrying the University’s heavy-handed policy).
Students would defend their paper’s right to free expression. The Hatchet should spend more time trying to keep the University from dictating policies to us rather than condemning all future student groups to the irrational policies applied to our Greek-letter community.
-The writer is a senior majoring in political science.