Letters to the Editor

Talk of ‘caucus’ premature

As a member of the senate-elect, I read with interest your article on the new, Phi Psi-heavy composition of the senate. While I would disagree with Joint Elections Committee Chairman Ben Balter that Phi Psi senators are somehow incapable of representing students, I would also disagree with Kyle Boyer that no Phi Psi Caucus could potentially exist. Just because the Phi Psis were elected legitimately doesn’t mean they can’t all vote exactly the same. What is missing from both sides of this argument is evidence. Let’s wait until the senate starts and then compare voting records. If they collude, they collude. If they don’t, they don’t. But at least give them a chance to prove themselves before accusing them of conspiracy.

Logan Dobson, CCAS-U Senator-elect

UPD action causes concern

Campus safety remains and is rightly at the forefront of concerns for the University Police Department and the administration. It is essential that UPD keep proper controls over access to our buildings to protect each and every one of us. However, the recent Hatchet article regarding Jennifer Sales and her arrest (April 3, p. 3) are troubling for a number of reasons.

We should note that Sales’ actions are certainly out of line and she likely faces discipline. Health and Wellness Center staff should be commended for keeping tabs on the building and notifying the proper authorities when a problem took place as well. The extent of the interaction between the officers and Sales is at this point unknown, but The Hatchet reports that an officer threatened to arrest her, and she responded by calling the Metropolitan Police Department. When the police arrived, the UPD officers elected to press charges against Sales, having her arrested, booked and processed, and she now faces criminal charges in D.C.

Such reaction by UPD is unacceptable. UPD Chief Dolores Stafford and the administration must require higher standards from their police officers to handle matters calmly without resorting to threats and frivolous arrests. Simply removing Sales from HellWell and submitting the case to Student Judicial Services along with a detailed police report of any aggravating factors would have been plenty. Instead this case reads as an officer who wanted to make an example out of someone he surely felt was positioning themselves above the law by calling MPD, and pressed charges.

All levels of this University must commit itself to safety, as students we expect nothing less. Yet, UPD seems to exist unaccountable for their actions with no recourse for constituents of this University to raise concerns except here on this page. In a climate where there are stories of misconduct that are cause for concern by campus police at other universities it is essential that GW becomes a leader. I hope that University President Steven Knapp and the incoming Student Association work to solve this problem. Every community must have some way of evaluating their police, and such mechanisms are certainly missing at GW.

Gary Nuzzi, Senior

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