On Wednesday students will select their next Student Association president and executive vice president, among other positions. We at The Hatchet think the combination of Black Student Union President Phillip Robinson for SA president and Eric Daleo for executive vice president would best serve students.
Robinson’s ideas include promoting increased diversity at GW, making SA records more open and improving customer service at the SA. Examples of these ideas include events to bring the community together more, publishing the SA budget online and staffing the SA office with more knowledgeable people who can answer student questions immediately. Innovative proposals such as these have great potential to assuage student apathy.
Although Robinson’s proposals are not as developed as other candidates, his personality, charm and sincerity demonstrate his ability to best communicate with students – something all candidates agree is a necessity. Students can have faith in Robinson when he brings their demands to the GW administration.
While all candidates are sincere in their dedication to improving student life, students will gain the most from Robinson. His experience in the Senate means he knows how to navigate through the wiles of the SA bureaucracy. Being president of the BSU illustrates a dedication to diversity and an ability to run an organization. His personal demeanor indicates he would be an accessible and approachable president, all of which are prerequisites for the presidency.
Eric Daleo, the EVP candidate running unopposed, would serve as an ideal complement to Robinson. Daleo could help guide Robinson through the transition process, helping the new Robinson administration find its feet and saving more time for student needs.
Although Daleo faces a less difficult election, he should be commended for his many accomplishments and contributions to student life – improvements in Dining Services, 4-RIDE and the effort to rename the Thurston TV lounge in Jonathan Rizzo’s memory are all successes Daleo can take credit for.
There is no doubt Robinson and Daleo team would have hard work ahead of them. Although Josh Singer is clearly more experienced and qualified in policy matters, he lacks the visibility and connection with students that a successful SA president needs. Although Singer’s dedicated service to the student body is commendable and deserving of every student’s appreciation, he has an admitted propensity to stay on the Marvin Center’s fourth floor and tends to practice the very politics that turn students off of the SA. Singer seems out of touch when he says the SA Senate is doing just fine, when both student and senator statements indicate otherwise.
Dani Greenspan could bring some fresh air to the Student Association but has a lack of experience and specific ideas that a year’s work in the SA could nurture. His candidacy would be stronger with more involvement in student life.
A Hatchet poll of 200 students conducted last week indicates that the SA is aloof to student needs and concerns. Alarmingly low voter turnout indicates the SA is out of touch with students. Robinson has the best shot of returning a successful leadership style to the SA helm.
At a time when the SA faces a great lull in student participation, the SA needs leadership committed to outreach, not a status quo comprised of wasteful referenda and unnecessary politics.