I have to (respectfully) disagree with Andrew's post on the SA campaigns. True, in reality the eventual winner will have very little power at the university, as highlighted by current SA President Nicole Capp's inability to influence the Tower Records replacement, the lessons students learn by both running and holding office are invaluable.
OG is going to learn you can't drop out of the election and then come back and win (see Ross Perot). There's already a potential Ron Paul wannabe with Vishal Aswani (check out all that Web 2.0 in the works!). And countless other students will learn about campaign managing, canvassing, or simply how to make an educated decision when voting.
Once they're in office, students still have to learn lessons on maintaining a life in the spotlight. Take, for example, former SA President Lamar Thorpe's scandal last year for allegedly sexually harassing a female student (a charge he was later acquitted of). Thorpe had to deal with a media storm, judicial action, and adapting his lifestyle to one befitting a public leader.
Given GW's proximity to the White House, it's natural and important that the school's culture place a high value on politics, particularly its own. It would be a shame if GW didn't take it's politics so seriously.
Other than the high tuition, it's one of the few things that sets GW apart.