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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Presidential candidate seeks to abolish the SA

A former Student Association senator and member of the student body election oversight committee announced his intention to run for the SA’s top spot, centering his campaign not on advocating for students, but on abolishing the SA altogether.

Sophomore Phil Gardner, a former member of the Joint Elections Committee and a former SA senator, launched his “Abolish the SA” website Jan. 31. with the intent to mobilize the student body in getting rid of the organization. Almost a month later, Gardner is seeking the role of presidency to officially abolish the SA.

“Student governments are a bad idea. They don’t actually govern anything outside of their own office and are rarely effective. The SA is not an exception. Be it Gelman, dining, GWireless or SJS, the SA has been unable to make substantial progress on the issues that matter to GW students,” Gardner said.

If elected, Gardner will go to the Board of Trustees and request that they revoke the SA’s charter.

“We have the SA because we want it,” Gardner said. “If we say we do not want it anymore, the Board of Trustees has no reason to keep it.”

As an alternative to the SA, Gardner intends to implement of a system of student lobbyists, advocating full-time on issues students care about, rather than internal reform, or election rules, Gardner said.

“Under the plan, there’s only 10 or so Student Advocates, and they meet informally,” Gardner said. “Rather than a formal Senate with large numbers, imagine a group of lobbyist working for a D.C. lobbying firm.”

Gardner noted that current candidates, such as Chris Clark and Amanda Galonek, would be ideal for this position.

“They’re all good people, they are just trapped in a system where they are not able to succeed,” Gardner said.

If elected, Gardner will work to abolish the SA from the start, and will step down from his position once the task is completed.

“This spring GW students will have the opportunity to vote to get rid of their student government fort he first time in more than forty years,” Gardner said.

Gardner added that he has spent the past week on campus talking to students about this possibility.

“Once I explained the issue to people, they seemed really excited about it and ready for an alternative,” Gardner said. “We finally have the chance for change.”

Gardner is the fifth student to announce intentions to run for the SA’s top spot, including sophomore and SA outsider John Richardson, sophomore and SA Sen. Jason Kaplan, CCAS-U, SA Sen. Chris Clark, chair of the SA Finance Committee, and former SA Sen. Caleb Raymond.

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