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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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SA president-elect sets top priorities

Student Association President-elect David Burt sat at a Georgetown restaurant chomping on a cheesesteak and watching a college basketball match-up on television Saturday.

The one thing I hate about the election, he said, was that I didn’t get to watch as much college basketball.

Burt said he enjoyed relaxing this weekend after enduring a tiring and stressful election season.

This whole weekend is Dave time, he said, turning his focus back on the basketball game.

Burt lost the initial election but received enough votes to place him in a run-off election, which he won. He re-worked his campaign message, encouraged voters to come out one more time and then waited nervously on election night.

I have never been more nervous in my life, he said of last Wednesday’s election. It was such an interesting night, but nerve-racking.

Burt’s weekend of relaxation still included some SA business. He had work to do as SA Senate Finance Committee chair and meetings to arrange with Executive Vice President-elect Cathy Resler and a University administrator.

Burt said he will head back to his home in Bermuda next week, where friends and family will be waiting to congratulate him.

The simplest part of being president is over, Burt said.

The election is easy compared to what we’re up against, he said. It’s a tremendous amount of work.

The SA will be entirely different next year, Burt said. Burt said his ultimate goal for the SA is to make it a student resource available to address all different problems students have, from financial aid to judicial proceedings.

The SA is no longer going to be a training ground (for politicians), Burt said. It’s actually going to do stuff. Imagine that, . (the) Student Association actually representing students.

The future president stressed the need for more student involvement and getting rid of politics in the SA.

Politics is not a must in political institutions, Burt said.

Burt chuckled as he listed the names of his campaign staff, which contains four main people.

It was really hilarious that there was just four of us, he said, comparing his camp to his opponents’ campaigns. I take pleasure in beating the odds and in showing that politics isn’t the only way to win.

Burt said relationships he has with students are more important than ones with the SA.

I don’t care if people in the SA resent me, he declared. It’s not the people in the SA that matter, it’s what the students want.

Burt said he looks to present a united front with EVP-elect Cathy Resler.

Resler said she and Burt share the same goals, including issues of funding and putting students first.

We know that students aren’t happy, Resler said. We want that changed.

Burt said the SA has wandered from its original purpose.

(They) have become a student group unto itself, and it shouldn’t be like that, he said. (Members) sometimes make it more than it is. They represent themselves and their way of thinking, not the students. People won’t care about something that does nothing for them.

Burt is outspoken about banning palmcarding on campus during SA elections.

It’s organized bribery, he said, admitting that he too palmcarded during the campaign. If necessary, I will gather signatures of 2,000 students. People hate (palmcarding).

Once palmcarding is eradicated, candidates will have to make a concentrated effort to go out and meet people, he said.

When Burt takes office next fall, he said he first plans to increase SA funding for student groups, a move that will be in the administration’s best interest.

GW wants to become a top-ranked undergraduate university, he said. College life on campus can’t thrive without adequate resources. GW needs to put financial support here to become a top undergrad university. It’s that simple.

Burt said funding for student groups has only increased 2.5 percent while tuition has increased immensely.

A lot of people don’t understand, the SA funds everything, Burt said. More students and more groups over the past few years doesn’t make the job easier.

Burt said he joined the SA when he first saw it was flawed to make sure student groups stop getting shafted when it comes to funding.

Burt said corporate sponsorship of the SA could ease financial burdens on student groups and the student body. The online book exchange, which should be functional by this summer, is an important facet of progress for students, he said.

Burt wants to train some SA members as case workers who are able to give honest and unbiased information on any questions that students have, he said. Next year’s SA budget will also be published completely online so that it may be subjected to student review, he said.

There’ll be no more waste of money, Burt said.

Burt also plans to review his opponents’ platforms during spring break.

A lot of good ideas were generated over the campaign, they really need to be looked at, he said.

With a little cheesesteak still sitting on the table and the University Maryland closer to finishing off the University of North Carolina , Burt offered parting words, which he hopes all students will remember:

My office door’s always going to be open, he said.

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