Fact checking: How candidates’ platforms hold up

When it comes to creating their platforms, some Student Association candidates have made some factual slip-ups or called for changes that run contrary to University research. The Hatchet went through each candidate’s platform so you wouldn’t have to. Here are some of the issues we found.

Platform point
Junior Cole Ettingoff says in his platform that students should be able to see an adviser on the same day they have an academic issue or question, even during peak advising periods, like registration.

Fact check
The Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Elliott School of International Affairs and the School of Engineering and Applied Science offer same-day, walk-in office hours on weekdays, according to the schools’ academic advising websites.

Platform point
Ettingoff said in his platform students should get academic credit for leading student organizations, like how they get credit for internships, but “you shouldn’t have to be friends with Peter K to get it.”

Fact check
Dean of Student Affairs Peter Konwerski is responsible for overseeing areas of the University ranging from health services to military and veteran affairs to housing, according to the Division of Student Affairs website. His job description does not include the power to offer and approve student academic credit requests.

Platform point
Sophomore Adam Johnson said in his platform he will expand GW’s current pass/fail policy from four to six total elective courses for undergraduate students. The current system only applies “in your junior and senior years,” he said.

Fact check
Sophomores enrolled in the Elliott School are eligible to take elective courses pass/fail, according to the GW Bulletin website. All SEAS students can take pass/fail courses, as long as the courses are not graduation requirements, according to the school’s website.

Platform point
Johnson wants blue lights on campus to get weekly maintenance checks and the University Police Department to send out a campus alert when a light is out of order.

Fact check
In 2013, then-UPD Chief Kevin Hay said the number of blue light uses had already declined by 26 percent since 2010 and that the majority of calls were pranks. The new GW PAL app went live last month and safety officials said it would be a more useful way for students to indicate when they need help because it shows exact locations through GPS tracking.

Platform point
Junior Lande Watson plans to work with administrators to “clearly outline which punishments are allowed for which violations” for fraternities and sororities.

Fact Check
GW provides a list of which policies are considered violations, from alcohol consumption to hazing, on the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities website. A designated presiding officer will determine whether a situation violated University policies and if action should be taken against the group on a case-by-case investigation basis, according to the GW’s code of conduct.

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