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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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President: Cole Ettingoff


Year: Junior
Hometown: Memphis, Tenn.
Major: Geography
Clubs/activities: Delta Tau Delta executive board, Humanitarian Mapping Society, GDub Scuba Diving Club director of operations
Previous SA Experience: Assisted creating GW Listens, Director of Health and Wellness, Director of Interfaith Affairs, Vice President for Judicial and Legislative Affairs, Director of Campus Operations
Favorite GWorld Spot: PoppaBox
Dream job: Director of a community center
Fun fact: I love to dance.
Favorite D.C. museum: National Air and Space Museum
All-time favorite city: Hometown of Memphis
Favorite show on Netflix: Santa Clarita Diet – if you haven’t seen it, it’s super funny.

Cole Ettingoff wants to “cut the bullshit.”

The junior said he was inspired to adopt the phrase as his campaign slogan after hearing students’ complaints about how inefficient administrators can be.

“There are lots of little moments where we feel like GW never cared about us or we got stuck in the bureaucracy,” he said. “We keep hearing excuses about why GW can’t help us, and after a while, it’s just a lot of bullshit.”

Even though Ettingoff wants to lead the Student Association, he said it’s not for political reasons because he has no interest in politics. He said he instead hopes his background in community service shows he is willing to get work done, even if it doesn’t sound “sexy.”

“I believe in actually working on projects that help students, not just talking about them,” he said.

Ettingoff’s community service work spans from volunteering with fire departments and search and rescue groups to coordinating for Camp Kesem, an organization that provides programs to children whose parents have cancer, he said. He was also the director of operations for last year’s Dance Marathon, an annual event that raises money for youth cancer patients.

Ettingoff said his three years in the SA – most recently as director of campus operations – have helped him see how to get projects from the drawing board to the final product. He has worked on projects like the peer support hotline, GW’s Birthday Ball and Marvin Center renovations.

Ettingoff’s platform includes designing a streamlined complaint form for students to submit concerns about any department directly to administrators. The form would be created during the summer so it could be up and running in the fall, he said.

“We can’t count on administrators trolling Twitter to see who has tweeted at Peter K or reading every post on Overheard to find where the services they are supposed to be providing students are failing,” he said. “All too often when I go into meetings with administrators, they just simply aren’t aware of a lot of the issues facing students.”

Two of his other proposals appeal mainly to freshmen: a Vern-by-choice housing policy and renovations to Thurston Hall.

“The Vern is an incredible place,” he said. “So many students who are there really enjoy it. But I find that if you are there and don’t want to be there, then it’s really hard to be happy.”

Thurston renovations aren’t likely to happen during his term in the SA, but it’s a project that has to happen to improve student life in the future, he said.

“If you live in a quad and it’s overcrowded, there’s mold in the ceiling, and instead of fixing the problem GW simply painted over it, then you feel like you go to a school that doesn’t care about you,” he said. “Thurston’s renovation is a long time in the making.”

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