Why should our student leaders hold their cabinet meetings at J Street with the rest of the peasants? Why should the Student Association President’s staff have to drink water and cola? They put in so much time and effort representing students; what kind of constituents would we be if we didn’t let the SA President take our money for personal use and then lie to us about it? People that question our leaders are acting political. Holding powerful people accountable is a waste of time. Punishing the elite just makes them less productive. Student Judicial Services should only enforce the rules on students that do not hold elected office. GW doesn’t need any communists running around clogging up our democracy with their crazy schemes.
A few weeks ago we learned that SA President Omar Woodard spent lavishly on a cabinet meeting meal at Sequoia on the Georgetown waterfront. Later, we learned that almost every aspect of Woodard’s explanation of his dinner was an intricate political tale that had little to do with reality. After a denial in The Hatchet and to the Senate that any student funds were spent on alcohol, it turns out that Woodard billed four glasses of wine to the student body. But just like any good scandal, the cover up turned out far worse than the act itself.
From the moment the Sequoia dinner was questioned by the Senate, Woodard went right into Nixon-Clinton mode. He reversed years of precedent and rulings regarding the release of receipts from presidential expenditures to cover his trail. With the documents sealed, he proceeded to tell The Hatchet no SA money was used for alcohol and that 10 people attended the dinner. Only once his secrecy and shadiness drew an outcry from the Hatchet editorial page was Woodard forced to come clean and release the receipt. The documents that he tried to suppress ended up revealing that he lied about all key aspects of his expenditure. He lied about what was purchased, how the meal was payed for and how many students were there. We should thank Woodard for covering this up only as long as students didn’t know about it.
The best part about the whole thing is that Woodard plans to continue to spend excessively in the future. We have his pledge that he will waste at least six thousand dollars of our money on his outgoing banquet. Woodard plans to continue implementing his vision of student representation by using student money for personal luxury. Much more worrisome, we have no pledge from Woodard that he will never lie to us again. The long-term cost of dishonesty is much more than four hundred dollars.
Woodard was not the only person on campus happy to keep his cabinet feast at the Sequoia restaurant on the hush. We have yet to see if Student Judicial Services will enforce their policies on the SA president. Student groups cannot drink alcohol at their meetings unless the event is registered with GW. Fraternities and sororities have to play by the rules. Although I find the alcohol and drug policies at GW to be ridiculous, these are policies that Woodard has never spoken against. I am interested to see if Student Judicial Services will punish the president of the Student Association.
If you were afraid that the freshman class was never going to see the dark side of GW student government, you can rest assured. Together, we can all act surprised that SA President Omar Woodard has managed to take one stupid mistake and turn it into another classic SA scandal. Since the Senate first questioned his lavish dinner on the Georgetown waterfront, Woodard has been using The Hatchet to misrepresent what actually happened. At least we now know part of why Woodard wanted $100,000 of student money for his personal budget. It costs a lot to take eight people out for filet mignon and get tanked off of overpriced wine.
-The writer, a junior majoring in political science, is a Hatchet columnist.