Letters to the Editor

Stop invoking imaginary crisis

It is unfortunate that the editorial board has resorted to wasting its time (and its readers’) by pontificating about the “dirty politics” of the upcoming Student Association election (Feb. 14, A4). The incident with the Web domains was childish and foolish, but one person’s political ineptitude isn’t the story here.

The real story is how The Hatchet and others have falsely invented imaginary crises like the “racial and religious” tensions you shamelessly try to invoke. Will it ever be acknowledged that the most notable of these incidents were self-created stunts designed by people desperate for attention? The main issue should be the fact that certain candidates for SA president are seeking to further generate and exploit these alleged “tensions.”

While the Web site that redirected to the “race card” Wikipedia page is a political cheap shot, I assure you that that message resonates with many students who are sick and tired of being of being pandered to like Iowa corn-growers in January. I, for one, am fed up with those on this campus who seek to manufacture “hate” solely for the purpose of painting themselves as the Christ-like savior who will stop it. The approach is disingenuous and condescending, and it will continue to damage school unity until voters vanquish it at the ballot box.

Alex Shoucair, Sophomore

Law students deserve fair shot

I would like to respond on behalf of the law school to an article “SA Note: Law School senators force meeting after SBA threatens to condemn referendum,” (Feb. 11, Web extra). It is perhaps important to understand the Student Bar Association and what it means to the Law School. To characterize the SBA as “the largest student organization in the Law School” is a bit of a misnomer. The SBA is in fact the elected government of the student body of GW Law. The SBA has three separate branches, more than 20 elected officials, more than 50 appointed positions and overseas approximately 50 student organizations.

Our SBA has been recognized by the American Bar Association as the best SBA in the country two of the last three years. Also, the two SBA presidents preceding me were both named SBA President of the Year by the ABA. We are second to none in terms of protecting the interests of our students, and providing them with a multitude of options to get involved around the school. As a result, our 1,900-plus students rarely, if at all, get involved in student activities outside the law school. There is simply no need to do so. It is for this reason that student fees are such a big issue to law students.

For years, the Student Association has only returned roughly half of law student fees to the SBA, with the rest being used to subsidize undergraduate organizations. Only recently has the SA recognized the autonomy of the Law School and the SBA, and begun to return more of our student fees back to us. It is important to note, however, that at no point has the Law School received more from student fees than we have contributed. Yet, the Law School seems to be under fire simply for receiving our fees back.

We do not feel that we should be scrutinized for wishing Law School student fees to be used on law school student events. When approached about the proposed student fee increase, the SBA had to put its students’ interests first. While the SBA supported a student fee increase, generally, we could not endorse such an increase if it would not result in a return for our students. Any contentiousness at the SA senate meeting was not introduced by our senators. The SBA wanted an assurance from the SA that law students would not be penalized by any increase in student fees. Any discussions regarding allocations made to the SBA seem to focus on the amount of money given, rather than focusing on the percentage of law student fees returned.

Our students are concerned that this preoccupation with dollar amounts will prevent the SBA from recovering fees paid by law students. Our position was simply that the SBA could not in good conscience endorse the referendum unless our students’ interests were addressed. The SBA did not threaten to condemn the referendum, and to state otherwise is to grossly mischaracterize our position.

Bryan King, President, Student Bar Association

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