Lamar Thorpe: Act wisely, choose wisely

Welcome back and I hope you all enjoyed time with your families while on winter break. As we begin the spring semester I want to reflect on two things: a fulfilling college experience and the upcoming Student Association elections. The hooky specialist extraordinaire Ferris Bueller once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you might miss it.”

As I prepare for my last stretch as SA president, I cannot help but be amazed by the velocity at which GW moves. Sometimes I don’t get the opportunity to stop and appreciate everyone’s good works, but I do try my hardest. In that same vein, please, do yourself a favor and don’t get stuck in that same wind tunnel. Some of life’s greatest lessons come from outside academia – for example, volunteerism in the greater Washington, D.C., area, extracurricular activities on or off campus and the pursuit of your spiritual or religious self.

I have personally seen the creativity, excitement and self-fulfillment that are projected from volunteer work, involvement in campus life and spirituality. Graciously, these types of pursuits are reflected throughout our great student body – the thousands of GW Colonials. This is why I am never surprised at individuals and student groups that are either awarded or recognized in the most prestigious manner for their good works.

Whether one organization is awarded or not, these pursuits truly lead to a fulfilling college experience. I ask all of you to really get out there and make your GW experience fulfilling. Either stay involved or get involved! There are many opportunities through which students can get involved in Washington, D.C. Visit the Multicultural Student Services Center, Student Activities Center or the Office of Community Service to fulfill these opportunities.

We have selected a new University president for next year – Dr. Steven Knapp, the current provost at Johns Hopkins University. Remember, the SA represents you and the type of student body we are, and it will represent you under this University’s new leadership. Therefore, as several individuals gear up to run for SA president, it is crucial that we all take into account the level of maturity, responsibility and SA experience a candidate must posses. Don’t forget that a first impression is the lasting impression; next year both students and our SA leaders must show Dr. Knapp what we are capable of doing.

Most of us have learned that it’s easy to vote for your best friend or the popular kid. Sadly, some of us have also learned that that’s not the best course of action. The role of the Student Association is to provide simple services such as the holiday shuttle bus, test bank and SA funding, to promote initiatives like former president Omar Woodard’s residence hall restoration project and my sexual health campaign and, most importantly, advocacy, advocacy and more advocacy (which takes up 99 percent of our time).

Most of the time students fall into the trap of voting for the big idea candidates. Do not do it – it’s only a recipe for disaster. Pay attention to the candidate’s vision, ideas and where they want to take the SA. Also pay close attention to The Hatchet and the Daily Colonial’s endorsements. In my personal opinion, both media outlets have shown a sincere desire to elect the best candidates.

-The writer, a senior, is president of the Student Association.

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