A better GW does not only mean making the Student Association better. If the Student Association can successfully advocate for students to get them a better GW, then the SA will be strong. To do this, the Student Association cannot fight the University at every turn; getting a better GW for students means working collaboratively with the administration for the mutual benefit of students and the University. It means knowing when to stand your ground and knowing when to compromise. Strength is earned by the SA when it works to improve GW, not itself.
A better GW can be achieved through common sense solutions to the problems we all face. A better GW means making scheduling easier by allowing you to see how your classes fit together on the GWeb Info System before you register. A better GW means making sure that you can call EMeRG. for a friend in need without having to think twice. A better GW means getting advising answers on your timetable, not your advisor’s. A better GW means making more meeting space available for student organizations by opening academic buildings after hours. A better GW means putting a UPD officer at the Mount Vernon shuttle stop so you have a safer trip at night. A better GW means more partners in the GWorld program so you can decide what you eat.
The Student Association’s job is to be flexible, accessible and open in order to be available when students need it the most. When they need answers about advising, have questions about SJS, or need funding for their student organization event, they should come to the SA. In continuing what President Woodard has begun in opening the door to students, the next SA president must be even more accessible by holding office hours around campus in places like J Street, Mount Vernon and the Ivory Tower food court. An SA president should come to students, not the other way around.
The SA should be there when students need an advocate, someone in their corner to speak louder than they can. Students want action; they want to know they have someone both out in front advocating for them and standing behind them in support. Being the SA president isn’t about making the lives of students easy, it’s about making them easier. Students should spend more time just being students, because that’s why we’re all here.
The Student Association isn’t run by a president. It’s not run by an EVP, and it’s not run by senators. The Student Association is run by students. You, a GW student, are a stakeholder in the success of the SA. Whoever is fortunate enough to be the next leader of the Student Association must understand that there is no Student Association without students. Next week, make your voice heard; vote for a better GW.
-The writer, a junior majoring in political communication, is a candidate for Student Association president.