In the last academic year, this campus has seen the Student Association transform dramatically. What was once a dirty exercise for national politics characterized by controversies and inefficiency has evolved to become a true voice for student needs. Nicole Capp’s administration has changed the face of the SA and encouraged people to believe that this organization exists to achieve changes relevant to students – not simply to stroke the egos of those in office.
Unfortunately, with the onset of the SA elections and related controversies, the organization seems to be facing a return to the dirty politics of the past.
On Wednesday, SA presidential candidate Tarek Al-Hariri’s adviser Freddie de Siber admitted to buying up multiple Web domains that incorporated the name of another presidential candidate, OG Oyiborhoro. Sites such as OG4SA.com, OG4GW.com and gwfeed.org were all registered to a false name that was later conclusively linked to de Siber. One of these sites, OG4GW.com, rerouted the visitor to a Wikipedia entry for the words “race card.”
The incident has reintroduced controversy in SA elections, and repositioned the spotlight on race.
GW has struggled to move past the racial and religious tensions that have plagued this campus since last fall. For the candidates’ top advisers to further perpetuate such tension, whether or not it was a prank like de Siber claims, is repulsive. Such behavior reflects poorly upon the candidates, the institution of the SA and GW as a whole.
Regardless of whether this is an isolated controversy or not, this week’s actions have set the tone for this election season early on. If such tactics continue to be used, the incoming administration will face hurdles from their first day in office. It would be a shame to see this year’s progress be reversed because of such immature behavior.