Stewards still irrelevant, don’t hold your breath

In what has become a recurring migraine for GUSA candidates, the Steward controversy rears its head again. The Hoya reported today that four of the GUSA executive candidates are members in either the Second or Third Society of the Stewards.

While membership with the Stewards could be of importance, given what we know about the societies’ histories, nothing nefarious about their action has ever been substantiated by fact. Candidates’ involvement in these societies, then, simply becomes a distraction from the campaign.

During last year’s GUSA executive campaign, an anonymous informant, who named him or herself  “Steward Throat,” sent screenshots of emails to Vox and The Hoya revealing that Jack Appelbaum (COL ’14) is a member of the Stewards. Later, Vice Presidential candidate Adam Ramadan (SFS ’14) later admitted to being a member of a secret society, though he did not name which, as well.

These events were nothing short of a spectacle: the emails published only proved that the members enjoyed matching cufflinks and ties. The anonymous informant clearly had the intention of creating “controversy based on limited information aimed at tarnishing the reputation of a specific presidential candidate,” then-Vox editor Connor Jones wrote. And we gave him the opportunity to do so. Even the Washington Post reported on the uproar. In all likelihood, the controversy contributed to Appelbaum’s loss in the race.

These revelations did not generate any meaningful discussion on the place of secret societies at Georgetown, but rather, served to score petty political points. This GUSA election season, Vox knew from several sources that multiple candidates were involved in secret societies. Following last year’s media frenzy, Vox decided she would rather spend time looking at the candidates’ proposals than discussing their involvement in groups that buy matching cufflinks.

If we find out anything about the Stewards that’s relevant to the campaign, Vox will let you know.

6 Comments on “Stewards still irrelevant, don’t hold your breath

  1. Voxy,

    Normally you do an alright job of your reporting, so kudos for that. This may be nitpicking, but last year Adam Ramadan confirmed his membership in a secret society/private organization/whatever you want to call it, but never explicitly stated which one.

    This could mean Ramadan is a member of the Stewards, the Second Society of Stewards, Crux Orbis, the Sofias, or another society that does a much better job at remaining out of the spotlight than all of these. You might want to update that in the story.

  2. Dear Voxy,

    Don’t tell voters/readers what is relevant and not relevant. That’s not your job. Yea sure its a blog and blogs are a bit different than straight news reporting. But if you think something is not relevant than don’t cover it as much, or just be careful in how you write it. But never tell your readers directly and explicitly what is relevant. That is just sloppy and lazy, especially because this is mostly talking about last years news.

    -Devoted Vox-er for life.

  3. “These revelations did not generate any meaningful discussion on the place of secret societies at Georgetown, but rather, served to score petty political points.”

    Really? Regardless of where one stands normatively, last year’s revelations led to the most active recognition of and debate on “secret societies” at Georgetown in recent memory. That concerns raised last year have reemerged in the public discourse is telling of the impact of the Steward Throat “spectacle”.

  4. “Concerns raised last year”? Were students concerned that a the GUSA president might be part of a group donates money to a harmless theater club and debate society? Were people concerned that being part of a club that basically only signifies that its members are self-important is a legitimate problem, especially when they’re running to be the head of a different organization which basically only signifies that its members are self-important?

    This is trite to the point that it’s laughable, and I applaud Vox for staying out of it. Pictures of puppies on campus is so much more “news” than this stupidity.

  5. @Private Association Member

    “Regardless of where one stands normatively, last year’s revelations led to the most active recognition of and debate on “secret societies” at Georgetown in recent memory.”

    Yes because secret societies are so important to the Georgetown dialogue, up there with cura personalis and service to others, and are more important to discuss than any regular club at Georgetown?

  6. @Normally

    Thanks, it’s been corrected.

    @Smiley

    By posting at all this blog is telling you what it sees as relevant. Inherent in a blog post of any kind is the assumption that the editor/writer finds it to be relevant. This post simply explains why I decided the Stewards were irrelevant, explaining my decision not to write a post about them.

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