GSG Instagram Repost Gaffe


By Neve Levinson ’21 with additional reporting from Jibril Howard ’22, Co-Editors-in-Chief

The second headline-worthy recent GSG news relates to social media, our favorite topic of discussion. As casual observers within the Goucher community, we were a little confused about why @goucherstugov [GSG’s official Instagram account] reposted a job listing, but thought it was a nice gesture to potentially address a need within the student body.

This is only newsworthy because a few students did their fact-checking and got in touch with the Student Government page pointing out that they had, in fact, reposted a pyramid scheme. One of these students was Jake Pellett ‘24. 

When we confirmed this timeline with him, Pellett said: 

“Yeah, it probably took about three or four minutes in total. I typed in the website link, saw ‘Vector Marketing,’ double checked that Vector Marketing was the thing that I thought it was, so I looked up Vector Marketing. And the first thing that comes up is a bunch of lawsuits, and then I drafted a comment and posted it.” 

We followed up asking about if he thought GSG’s response to his comment was appropriate. 

“OH NO! Oh no. You would have thought that somebody died by the response that was posted. I don’t know if you have the exact wording available, but it was something like ‘we apologize to the entire Goucher community for posting something that some community members disagreed with.’ If that is how serious something like that is being taken, how are we expecting something that is legitimately serious to be put on equivalent grounding? I think that when you go as grand as to be like ‘members of our community had alternative views of this organization,’ instead of just ‘I posted a pyramid scheme.’ It just totally puts things into a very awful perspective.”

An appropriate response, Pellett told us, would be: 

“‘Hey, it was pointed out to me that the organization that I highlighted is not a legitimate business. Please don’t apply.’ I think that no apology to the community at large is necessary, or blowing it out of proportion as much as it was. I think keeping it simple, concise, and in perspective is really important. Very often, from the GSG meetings I’ve sat in on, things get blown out of perspective very quickly. I think that that’s the kind of thing that ruins the credibility and functionality of an organization.”

We would like to note that at least one student did reach out to the illegitimate company, and were appreciative of how GSG responded, telling us via text that “I just thought it was an honest mistake and I’m so glad they [GSG] reached out immediately after. I do think they should be more informed before making posts and giving out information.” This student did note that “the application process was very…shady so either way I became disinterested quickly in the process,” which is about as ringing an endorsement for trusting your gut while applying for jobs as anything.

We also asked Pellett what GSG’s response tells him as a first year, particularly as someone learning about student government. Pellett told us:

 “I think that it’s a clear example of a lot of things that people have been saying about GSG in smaller conversations – that it’s people trying to do good, without any concept of how good should be done. It’s people seeing this is a great opportunity to help the community by posting a job application…It’s an attempt to do good, that is just not really heavily thought about, looked through, fact-checked, or anything like that. It’s very worrying as far as the credibility of GSG goes, but also it’s very confusing about what the purpose of GSG is if they’re willing to post job applications, and not really work as a body between Goucher students and Goucher administration.” 

Another first year, Mich Rouse ‘24, weighed in on the same question, saying, 

“The confusion within GSG’s leadership, or maybe even the lack thereof, signifies how crucial it is for them to communicate with the Goucher community. Specifically, Goucher’s newest community members, the Class of 2024. We’re first-year students who have been stripped away final goodbyes of our high school lives, stripped away formal introductions to our first semester of college that is online, but we’re trying our best to be involved in extracurriculars as much as possible to keep some normalcy intact. With that, how can we get involved if an organization such as GSG, one that represents the entire student body, conducts meetings that aren’t either weekly or open to the public? Again, GSG represents the entire student body, right? Then why aren’t they effectively communicating with the newest student body? I want to understand GSG’s role within the Goucher community, but I don’t think they understand what their role is [either].”

Pellett closed out our interview by saying, “I’m looking forward to when the Class of 2024 gets to participate in the elections coming up!”

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