Five students were fired from Colonial Cabinet last week and nearly two dozen others were questioned after they were caught with alcohol at an on-campus party late last month.
University Police searched the room in an underclassman residence hall Jan. 24 after receiving a noise complaint, where they found about 20 of the group’s 34 members, said a former member of Colonial Cabinet who spoke on the condition of anonymity and was not in this year’s group.
One of the five members kicked out of the group accused administrators of firing them to deter future Cabinet members from breaking the policies, calling the move a “scare tactic.” All members sign contracts pledging not to drink alcohol underage while in their roles.
But the student, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity, felt that they had been too harshly punished. All members who attended the party passed the officers’ sobriety test, multiple students said.
“This whole process has been dealt with poorly, unprofessionally, and has highlighted the shortcomings of GW’s administration,” he added.
University spokesman Dave Andrews confirmed that five members were removed, but said GW does not comment on “specific issues surrounding decisions related to employment,” adding that the positions would be filled “as needed.”
Colonial Cabinet members, the faces of the Colonial Inauguration freshman orientation sessions, are hand-picked eight months before the summer program to begin training.
But the high-energy and high-profile group is under intense pressure to become fast friends, said a past member. He added that cabinet members are “glorified” by administrators for leading the award-winning program.
He said that members, who make $3,500 for the summer and receive free housing, often feel pressure to attend and host parties because they want to recreate the chemistry of previous groups.
“This pressure is created to make friends at an abnormally fast pace, which is a really tough thing,” the past member said.
The former member who was not on this year’s Cabinet said he was also disturbed by the University’s decision.
“I’m worried they’re not going to face the reality that college students will be college students,” the former member said. “Just because they went to a party doesn’t mean they can’t be a fabulous orientation leader.”