Letters to the Editor

Bring transparency to SA

I believe elected representatives have a responsibility to show their constituents how they vote. However, the policy of the Student Association Senate is to vote by secret ballot for its most important decisions.

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that our student government appalls so many students. It is about time that the SA regains student trust by eliminating the institution’s capacity for corruption.

Current Senate Bylaws dictate that committee chairs be selected in an election where “Senators will vote by secret ballot” (Bylaw 202, Section 9). The Senate Bylaws also mandate that Senate vacancies are to be filled by a secret ballot vote. Secrecy in voting is inherently undemocratic when elected representatives have the ability to block their constituents from seeing their voting record. Accountability is the guiding principle behind democratic government; students cannot hold the Student Association accountable when the Senate elects its leadership and fills its vacancies in secret.

In response to these shady SA Bylaws, I have written “A Bill to Bring Accountability and Transparency to Senate Voting Procedure.” I created this legislation to completely remove secret ballot voting from all Senate rules.

As a new senator, I hope that the Senate will choose to adopt this important step towards rebuilding broken student trust. With so many deeply-rooted SA veterans coming back for another year, this legislation will serve as the first true test of their willingness to let go of the old ways that facilitated the misuse of power and influence. The days of secrecy in the SA have reigned for far too long. In the context of such a politically sophisticated university, GW students do not deserve and should no longer tolerate anything but an accountable and transparent Student Association.

-L. Asher Corson
SA Senator, Columbian
College of Arts and Sciences
Rules Committee

The Aston disapoints

Traveling all the way from Idaho to be an intern is not the easiest thing for a young lad who just turned 18. To hide from the enormous city he may resort to have his living quarters as a sanctuary that he can turn to when times get tough.

When I was accepted for my internship on Capitol Hill I was ecstatic. Fate would have me being housed at George Washington’s Aston. From the looks of the building it looks like a quaint living situation. However, when momma said that looks were deceiving she was not joking.

As I walked into my room I noticed that the $1,200 that I paid for my five-week stay might have been spent a tad bit foolishly. After all, in Idaho $1.200 is almost a down payment on a house.

I decided to let go some of the little flaws of my room and enjoy my stay. I do not know what it was though that made me change my mind. It could have been that the Aston has not had air conditioning for four days. Or it might be that we have not had hot water for three days. But I really think what set me over the edge was being stuck in the dilapidated elevator for fifteen or so minutes. What ever it was I was not the happiest camper of the Aston.

When I applied for housing I was promised some things and I do believe hot water was included. So I called summer housing to get some information. The housing managers were less than helpful. They blamed my occurrences on bad luck. I did receive an apology though.

I would like to give kudos to the property management team who is trying their best to manage with what they have.

My point is this: GWU summer housing, do not brag up your buildings to be something that they are not. This young buck from Idaho can see right through your rhetoric.

-Gunnar Larson
Aston summer resident

Outside perspective

One of the reasons I left my former school, Loyola University Chicago, was because of their decision to move toward an alternative academic calendar. While GW seems to be handling this matter with great care, the move to an alternative academic calendar seems to be in the best interests of the administration, not the students. To a transfer student trying to get a feel for his new school, it seems to me that the administration of the school is not making the interests of the students it serves as top priority, rather its finances which at this time seem to be going towards their court battles!

At both Loyola University Chicago and George Washington University, the big push for an alternative calendar has come from the administration. Where is the student desire to change what is working just fine? GW is in trouble and it’s costing the students.

Grant it, I am merely a transfer and I have not put my time in at GW as many others have, but this is very troubling. It takes a look from the outside to see where one is and where one should go.

-Andrew Lentz

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