GUSA’s Tyler Stone calls it quits, and it’s all the newspapers’ faults

This afternoon, GUSA’s Tyler Stone (COL `09) emailed the GUSA Senate to announce that he was resigning as Senator. (Full disclosure: Stone was at one time a Voice staff member).

“At this point in my Georgetown career, and with graduation hovering a month away, I have little stomach left for political posturing,” he wrote. He went on to write that while many GUSA Senators do treat GUSA as a resume-padder, he felt that campus media often shortchanged GUSA when it “manages to crank out an accomplishment or two-Summer Fellows, for example-that decisively betters the student experience at Georgetown.”  (He also weirdly intimated that newspapers led “ineluctably to a hostile takeover by the Student Commission for Unity,” which I don’t get. Thoughts, anyone?)

Stone resigns with just two GUSA Senate meeting left to go this year. According to the Voice’s GUSA-savvy Lillian Kaiser, at the last meeting, Senator Tim Swenson (SFS `11) adamantly called for Stone’s resignation, citing a poor attendance record. Stone, Kaiser tells me, hasn’t attended a meeting since mid-February (or, since he was prominently featured into Kaiser’s cover story, which explored GUSA’s “bro culture”).

More, and Stone’s email after the jump

This year was Stone’s first on the GUSA Senate. He ran an unsuccessful campaign to become the student body president in 2008. When Stone ran to represent Vil B apartments 46-90 back in September, his was an impassioned campaign which hinged on student security issues:

“It’s mind boggling, it really is,” Stone said. “DPS is undertrained. DPS is underequipped. DPS needs guns, I think.”

Stone said GUSA has not done anything in its power to lobby for better student security. Stone also takes issue with Georgetown’s administration, which he said is too detached from students.

“GUSA’s function is like a glorified lobbying position,” he said.

At the close of his resignation, Stone mused jokingly about how GUSA could protect its image (“forcibly suppressing snarky editorials with a small cadre of DPS officers”) but concluded, not unfairly, “GUSA has better things to do than constantly fret about its public image.”

“It may just be that GUSA, the Hoya and the Voice are destined to play this silly game for all eternity,” he added.

Aren’t we just?

Dear all,

I’ve decided to resign from my position as a GUSA Senator. I’ve had a great year with everyone, but at this point in my Georgetown career, and with graduation hovering a month away, I have little stomach left for political posturing. I aim to enjoy my final weeks in the wonderful postponement of responsibility that is college.

This was my first year in GUSA, and I arrived believing that, while much maligned on campus, it possessed enormous potential. I still believe that. Every year GUSA manages to crank out an accomplishment or two-Summer Fellows, for example-that decisively betters the student experience at Georgetown. For that, it should be commended, and I think campus media too often shortchange GUSA in this respect. That’s not to say, however, that the Hoya, Voice, etc. are wrong in their criticism; on the contrary, they’re usually painfully accurate when they chide GUSA Senators for using the organization as a resume pad, or for turning debates into free-for-alls.

I should know about turning debates into free-for-alls.

GUSA finds itself trapped between a disinterested student body and a media that delight in mocking its pretensions. I don’t know how to fix this, other than pumping resources into a blitzkrieg of a PR campaign over the next four years, or forcibly suppressing snarky editorials with a small cadre of DPS officers. I dislike both options, because GUSA has better things to do than constantly fret about its public image, and because I believe in freedom of speech, even if its expression upsets delicate sensibilities.

Perhaps it won’t be fixed. It may just be that GUSA, the Hoya and the Voice are destined to play this silly game for all eternity, some kind of horrible dialectic leading ineluctably to a hostile takeover by the Student Commission for Unity. Then, and only then, will peace and harmony reign as we come together to stifle all forms of independent and irreverent thought for the sake of “community,” or at least a small mob’s humorless (and ironic) intolerance.

Best of luck with the rest of the year, everyone.

Tyler

3 Comments on “GUSA’s Tyler Stone calls it quits, and it’s all the newspapers’ faults

  1. Thanks for illustrating my point, Molly: GUSA, the Hoya and the Voice have this odd and perpetually adversarial relationship. Take a look in the Hoya’s office. They have a sign on the wall that reads something to the effect of, “Whatever the problem is, I’m sure we can blame it on GUSA.” The Voice has the same attitude.

    I don’t “blame” campus media for anything. I only say that, at times, the Hoya and the Voice don’t give GUSA enough credit for some of its work. In the very next breath, I give both publications props for calling GUSA out on its absurdities. (Hell, I admit you’re usually dead-on with the critique.) This is not so much a barb at the papers as it is a comment about our messy relationship: GUSA bemoans unfair treatment in the press, while the press relishes chastising GUSA for a multitude of sins, some real and some not. Tensions rise, people vent. GUSA folks get mad at the Voice for posturing as a sophomoric version of Slate, and the Voice rips into GUSA for its pretensions of actually “governing” anything.

    My point is that I can’t see any solution to our mutual antipathy, and for all I know it’ll continue long after we graduate. Shame. I write this as a Senior who’s looking forward to the real world and (I hope) the more meaningful battles it demands.

  2. Pingback: Vox Populi » Don’t let it go to your head, Obama: GUSA gave Barack its blessing

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