Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Putting GUSA Out of its Misery

Jon Feng and Matthew Hipple* make the case for mercy-killing Georgetown's student government. I'm not well-versed enough in the details of this tedious debate to offer any useful perspective (and who knows? Maybe they're wrong!), but the piece does strike me as the best-written, wittiest, and most provocative editorial I have ever encountered in The Hoya. (Perhaps that's not saying much - the only thing more surprising than The Hoya's inexcusably pedestrian writing is the smugness it maintains while masquerading as a respectable student newspaper.) Georgetown's most talented writers publish most of their material on personal blogs and occasionally in publications like the Georgetown Voice, which, despite its flaws, is certainly superior to The Hoya. But I digress. The rhetorical bite of this piece is really outstanding:
GUSA itself lacks any power of administration. It is an introverted bureaucratic mess that does nothing more than constantly work itself into a lather trying to justify itself with new bylaws and resolutions. No one outside of GUSA truly relies on GUSA. It is a retardant, not a catalyst — no more than an overpriced junket for people who are enamored of our pretend-government. The monetary cost is real and the results are not.
To those who still wish to reform GUSA, we would remind you of why one should never fight with a pig: You both get dirty and the pig likes it.
The piece has sparked a comment thread that may be in the running for the longest in the paper's history. It's shocking, but apparently there are people on campus who care enough about GUSA to write long-winded, bullet-pointed responses that reflect a truly disturbing knowledge of the inner workings of Georgetown's bureaucracy (rule of politics: every issue has a constituency). That's a good thing, I suppose. Someone should care about this. 

*Disclosure: I spent many lazy afternoons freshman year playing Super Smash Bros. Melee with the authors in a Copley suite. To my memory, we never discussed GUSA. 


JDR said...

GUSA is problematic, but absolutely necessary. And this is nothing new: circa 2000, students attempted to abolish GUSA and reform the Yard, a total failure of student government that dissolved when the freshman class unilaterally left (circa Clinton, '67 or so). Georgetown was left without a function student government until 1980.

Something is better nothing. That something is gradually coming around: see this recent Voice feature


Anonymous said...

Are they calling Sarah Palin a pig?

Alexander Haddad said...

Ah, Super Smash Bros. Sean and I were recently lamenting the absence of mindless video games from our lives since the Year of Lost Brain Cells.