The coordinator of this year’s Student Association general election denounced the governing body for being hypocritical and lacking transparency, in a strongly worded letter to student leaders Thursday.
Joint Elections Committee Chair Ben Balter, a junior, said these major problems hindered this year’s election. The letter represented rare public criticism of the SA from a JEC chair.
He said the SA often did not inform the JEC about senate decisions that affected the election process and did not always provide up-to-date election information needed for the committee to function efficiently.
“I have found that as the JEC did everything in its power to represent the student voice and make sure the student voice was heard,” Balter wrote in the letter. “At the end of the day, I don’t have that same confidence for the people that we ensured to elect and the people I worked with beyond my committee.”
He addressed the letter to freshman Senator-elect Nick Polk (U At-Large), who would oversee any future changes to the election process. Balter also copied SA President-elect Vishal Aswani, Executive Vice President-elect Kyle Boyer and Frank Girard, a future member of Aswani’s cabinet.
SA EVP Brand Kroeger said Balter’s criticisms of the SA were unwarranted.
“The vast majority of what the senate has dealt with this year has not been in any way, shape or form controversial,” said Kroeger, a junior.
Balter pointed out the senate has not posted any of its meeting minutes, bills or resolutions online for students to view since Oct. 2007, which he said is a violation of the SA’s charter.
The SA senate, which typically holds meetings every other Tuesday, is required to make documents of meeting minutes, passed bills and resolutions available to all GW students.
Kroeger said the senate’s meeting minutes, bills and resolutions are available for students to view in the SA office located on the fourth floor of Marvin Center.
Polk, the Senator-elect, said he plans to make the organization more transparent next year.
He said, “I look forward to working with campus news media and student organizations to make every student aware of how they can find out more about the senate.”
This article appeared in the April 21, 2008 issue of the Hatchet.