As I See It: Doth the SA protest too much?

This year, a familiar fall pattern emerged on campus. The GW Hatchet, for one reason or the other, decided to write a staff editorial about the Student Association. Unlike in past years, the editorial brought a strong rebuke from SA President Roger Kapoor and his top lieutenant, Chief of Staff Joe Ardito. This rebuke was atypical as it did not claim the facts in The Hatchet’s editorial were incorrect. Instead, they desperately tried to make the case they were in fact doing more than any administration has done in the past and that The Hatchet was missing it all.

Due to my previous position as SA president, I do not think anyone could expect me to offer an unbiased opinion whether this administration is doing more than its predecessors. But they are doing one hell of a job trying to convince students they are doing a lot more.

Take for example Ardito’s op-ed (“Understanding the SA,” Oct 22, p. 5). In this op-ed, he says Kapoor has more support than past presidents. To prove his point he goes on state that 2,700 freshmen have signed up for the SA listserv. I am not so sure how having freshmen sign up during Colonial Inauguration would be an overwhelming measure of support. Apart from that,. Ardito has another glaring problem: there are not 2,700 freshmen at GW.

But Ardito is not the only one whose numbers do not match up. Maybe SA officials are suffering from a fuzzy math problem. Kapoor said the SA has worked to fire 40 percent of the dining staff due to complaints about poor service. Although this sounds like a wonderful thing, dining officials are perplexed as to where these numbers came from and question any SA involvement in staff terminations. When you look around J Street, do you really see almost half the people who kindly served you lunch last year gone? Dining officials place the number of terminations at no higher than 10 percent due to disciplinary reasons.

He also claims to have brought students the Kogan Plaza food cart. The junior sitting next to me while I am typing this in the very hot Marvin Center computer lab says, “Hey wasn’t that here last year?” Exactly!

The Hatchet editorial Kapoor and Ardito replied to said, “SA leaders should be careful not to take credit for others’ accomplishments.” I think The Hatchet should have stated that SA leaders should be careful not to make up accomplishments.

The problem is not that SA members do not take their positions or themselves too seriously. Chief of Staff Ardito wrote an e-mail to Sen. J.P. Blackford (G-SEAS) demanding that in the future he stop addressing the SA president as “Roger” and start addressing him as “President Kapoor.” One would think the chief of staff would be busy with more important matters.

And it seems as though Roger, I mean President Kapoor, just cannot seem to avoid another pizza controversy. The SA was supposed to have a Freshman Record giveaway party with pizza and ice cream Sunday. It probably would have been a fabulous affair had they not had to cancel it two days before because they forgot to advertise. Publicity was not the only thing they forgot. Had they spent time on details instead of arguing about how they were addressed, these SA officials would have remembered that they forgot to cancel the 115 pizzas that they ordered. Your cost for incompetence: $678 without the tip. Laughing out loud in class while reading this: priceless!

-The writer, a graduate student and former SA president, is GW coordinator for licensing and trademarks.

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