Column: SA politicos play dress up in elections


“Kapoor wins … no wait, we are putting the Columbian School back in the too-close-to-call category.” Judging from this year’s Student Association election, this is how WRGW’s coverage of the race would have gone had the station covered this increasingly unimportant yearly event that continues to measure GW’s political silliness.

With all the political infighting, courtroom wars and ridiculous legal (sounding) documents of the Bush-Gore election in November, the SA brought students back to a rank period in American politics and continued what candidates vowed to change: the SA’s reputation as a noisy, unoiled political machine sucking up student money.

As SA Sen. Josh Rothstein (U-CSAS), acting on behalf of presidential candidate Roger Kapoor, filed appeals to the SA Student Court to throw out violations issued by the Joint Elections Committee and halt vote counting, it became evident that he had learned a few things from George W. Bush’s lawyers months ago. Presidential candidate Bob Simon’s gang of campaigners, hurling allegations at Kapoor to kick him off the ballot (some were later retracted), resembled similar unscrupulous efforts by the Bush camp to discard votes in November. All while the third presidential candidate, Dan Loren, seemed to take a cue from Al Gore, distancing himself from the mess, but at the same time filing complaints against Kapoor.

Candidates should not suffer for reporting unfair tactics or fighting unwarranted election violations, but the debacle extends to the very nature of our student government. Whatever happens in Washington politics, GW’s politicos follow suit, only in more hysterical fashion.

Former President Bill Clinton battled an obstinate Senate while in office; current SA President David Burt faces similar shortcomings with the SA Senate. Congress impeached Clinton, so the SA impeached former SA President Phil Meisner. Every year rumors fly about voting scandals, so the year before that SA insiders drummed up a counting scandal of their own, and the reversal of an initial vote count followed.

Every year, SA candidates wonder why students do not care. Thankfully, only a few veteran insiders remembers what happened more than four years ago. If recent times are any indication, a former SA president probably denied selling the secret recipe of the Menouch-dog to a Georgetown hot dog vendor soon after Iran-Contra.

Young children often dabble in their parents’ closets, trying on ridiculously large shoes, their daddy’s tie and mom’s over-sized coat. Playing dress-up is cute when you’re eight, but when members of our student government imitate the Washington politics they see on C-SPAN, they should realize students are already tuning out.

–The writer is Hatchet managing editor.

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