For some reason, The Hatchet seems to be the only organization on campus that feels it’s business as usual in the Student Association (“Sluggish SA,” Oct. 18, p. 4). The main promise of my campaign was to bring the SA away from its “play-government” reputation and back to its original mission: the voice of the students on the campus of GW. To say that we’ve made no progress at all is not just insulting, it’s bad journalism. On every front, on every issue presented to my administration, we’ve been hard at work advocating for the students.
I promised students new dining options that would actually meet their needs. You only have to look at the Funger Hall breakfast cart, Kogan Plaza food cart and soon to open Gelman library Starbucks to see how much work we’ve done in this area. I promised to make the student voice heard in every issue on campus, and when the students spoke on the IMF shutdown, the University listened. The SA’s role wasn’t “unclear” in the negotiations with the administration on this issue – we were quite simply the only student group at the negotiating table, and we delivered.
I promised the students an SA they could be proud of. The record number of applicants to fill positions this year shows that students want to be part of this organization more than ever. I promised that I’d make it so no student ever had to sit on the floor in class again. Our Classroom Taskforce program has provided excellent data to administration on which classes need more sections, and changes are being made. In fact, next semester will be the first where the University, with the help of the SA, actively asks students as they register which classes they were attempting to register for but couldn’t get into, in order to see that more sections of these classes are added.
The events of Sept. 11 are not an excuse for inaction, as The Hatchet maintains. Rather, the SA response in the wake of the tragedy further illustrates the dedication and vision of this administration. The attack on our home city, as well as the home city of so many of our students and their families, left a huge emptiness in the community. We immediately, with the help of students all over campus, filled that void with hope and with caring. We raised thousands of dollars for disaster relief, and we waited in line for hours to give blood. When some fellow students spoke of being singled out because of their race, the SA joined with the Muslim Student Association and UPD to see that no student walks this campus in fear.
These are just a few of the accomplishments from this year so far. I’ve left out the countless meetings with administration where I make sure the voice of the student body is heard in all issues, large and small. I’ve left out the hours of time I spend each week meeting with students to find solutions to their concerns.
It may make better news for the SA to be a group of ineffective people. Sorry to say for The Hatchet, that’s just not the case. If The Hatchet needs the SA to be weak and poor at its job to sell advertising, maybe some of its staff should come join up.
-The writer is SA president.
This article appeared in the October 22, 2001 issue of the Hatchet.