Staff editorial: Step down

An investigation by the Student Association vice president of legislative and judicial affairs concluded that Sen. J.P. Blackford (SEAS-G) is guilty of at least two charges related to the misuse of student funds. When the chairman of the Rules Committee breaks the rules, the SA should take action – Blackford should either resign or be removed from office.

Blackford himself admits he made “minor violations,” but thinks that the SA should move past it. The fact that some members of the SA actually agree with him shows both their ineptitude and Blackford’s accumulation of power and allegiance within the SA throughout his years in office.

Blackford dutifully served the GW community for nine years as a representative and he should be congratulated for his commitment, but this does not make him immune to the consequences of impropriety. He blatantly broke SA rules that are in place to prevent representatives from using student money for personal benefit – and as chairman of the Rules Committee he should be well aware of this.

There is much talk within the SA about moving past all these allegations – Blackford even wrote a check to the SA for $136 to cover a purchase at Riverside Liquors in an attempt help the Senate move forward. The SA, however, is unable to move on while Blackford remains in his position. Students and some SA members have lost trust in Blackford, which hinders the SA’s legitimacy in its decisions. The angry response of students at the recent town hall meeting exemplifies the position of many students that they will not be happy with the SA until someone takes responsibility for these misdeeds.

While other SA leaders are just as, if not more guilty than Blackford in the SA saga, an investigation has shown Blackford to be in violation of written rules – the Senate should remove him if he does not do the honorable thing and resign.

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