Staff Editorial: Say what you mean, mean what you say

Yesterday morning, GW woke up to a campus transformed. Along with the expected dusting of snow, we got a blizzard of campaign posters covering every inch of eligible wall space.

The platforms and slogans ring of the usual vague promises, claiming that the candidate will “take back the SA” or focus on “moving forward together.” This year, let’s do things a little differently.

We don’t want to hear that candidates will improve J Street. We do want to hear how.

If a candidate is serious about making an issue like dining or advising part of their platform, they should make explicitly clear exactly what steps they will take. Going with the J Street example, talk about which administrators you have gotten in contact with, which vendors you have spoken to and which clause in the contract you hope to renegotiate. Don’t just say there will be more options or that student input will be included, we have comment boxes for that.

Here is a piece of breaking news: Nobody – absolutely nobody – cares about SA internal politics, except the SA itself.

Revolutionizing the SA isn’t going to make students care. Small, tangible changes that touch students’ daily lives will alter student perception of the organization. A working online test bank, a syllabus bank, getting Trader Joe’s on GWorld, a text book loan system (don’t just say you will reduce textbook costs) – anything that is feasible and will at least slightly improve student life fits the bill.

At the same time, there are some things that are simply not probable – and in some cases, not even possible. If they promise you better advising, ask how. If they tell you they will increase transparency, ask them what that means in practical terms. And if a candidate knocks on your door and promises to get rid of Sodexo and mandatory spending, it is simply not going to happen.

We live in a city of politicians, but for once, let’s leave the vague promises and internal squabbles to the Hill. Keep the emphasis on “student” in student government, and get something done next year.

Is that really so much to ask?

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