Tanya Choudhury: SA vote stifles growth

Last Tuesday, the potential progress of student life on our campus was defeated. The GW student body voted on the student fee referendum, which would have raised the student activities fee to a flat fee of $30 per semester for undergraduate students and $20 a semester for graduate students. With a mere 50-vote difference, this initiative – which was openly supported by the Student Association and multiple student organizations across campus – failed.

Developing a strong GW community is dependent on the ability of student organizations to flourish. Students do not attend college simply to go to class every day. They pick universities based on the community the campus has to offer. Student life is essential to that choice as it provides the heartbeat for the campus community.

Adequate funding is central to making student organizations function, especially considering the wide range of administrative fees required to run successful events. From technology fees to catering bills to security costs, the list of event expenses is endless. And student organizations, even with the help of cosponsorship funds, often struggle to meet these expenses on a daily basis. To put it simply, student organizations need money.

In the upcoming weeks, the SA will release their allocations for the 2007-2008 school year. In previous years, multiple student organizations have appealed to the Senate due to inadequate funding or even no funding at all. And every year the SA, which prides itself on expansion of student life, has their hands tied as financial resources are scarce.

The passing of this referendum would have helped to alleviate this problem and make it easier for student organizations to receive the funding necessary for their activities on campus. Additionally, the potential revenue from this fee increase would have benefited students who wanted to start new organizations. GW students continually come up with great ideas, but without resources, those ideas can never fully develop into real results.

As the president of one of the largest student organizations on campus, I fully understand the necessity of money in making a student organization successful. An increase in the student fee for incoming students is a small price to pay given the benefits of student life at GW.

Consequently, I urge the SA and the multiple student organizations across this campus to continue this initiative in hopes of allowing student life to progress at GW. Every student benefits from the expansion of the GW community, and by making sure that this initiative is passed, we can all take a step in continuing to better student life.

The writer, a junior majoring in political science, is the president of the College Democrats

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