Monday, March 2, 2009

Apathy Is Easy

My letter to the editor appeared in today's edition of The Hatchet. I wrote this in response to the letter of the editor written by Cameron Tepher in last Thursday's edition in which he suggested the abolishment of the Student Association at GW, which he apparently considers unnecessary.

In response to a recent letter to the editor titled "SA a waste of time" (Feb. 26, p. 4), I would like to suggest to the gentleman who proposed the abolishment of the Student Association to begin his signature petition immediately. I would be very surprised if he received close to enough signatures to warrant further effort.

The writer purports that the SA is "unnecessary" and that The Hatchet is "misguided" in its attempt to cover the meaningless SA elections. I cannot begin to understand why anyone, especially a student, would recommend the abolishment an organization whose very existence is dedicated to providing a voice for and addressing the needs of students on this campus.

Instead of abolishing the voice of the student body or writing it off as irrelevant, why not seek to amplify your own voice? Why not try to reform the SA to your liking? Because it's pointless? Or because it's too hard?

It's time GW students stop their incessant complaining about the problems we face, both real and imagined, and actually take ownership of our community. Pay attention to the SA elections. Vote for the candidates who will be your greatest advocates. If none of them will, run for elected office yourself or encourage capable friends to do the same. Impress upon them the importance of their job as representatives of the student population. Constantly remind them of what needs fixing and what doesn't. When they succeed, reward them; when they fail, remove them.

This is the way our country works, but not just at the highest levels of representation. The foundations of representative government are in local entities such as school boards, PTAs, city councils and, yes, student associations, where decisions of local leaders have immediate effects on our communities. These institutions are the roots of our democracy, and we should bend them to our will, not ignore or abolish them out of our own petty and lazy frustration.

Eshawn Rawlley, Junior

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