Although they hail from different backgrounds, Kamar Mack (COL ’19) and Jessica Andino (COL ’18) were drawn to Georgetown for similar reasons.
Both came to Georgetown not only for the school’s academics, but also for the opportunities it affords students outside the classroom.
“I am from Memphis, Tenn., and I originally was looking at a lot of schools in the South, but later in senior year, I was encouraged to branch out,” Mack said. “Georgetown also offered me the chance to be around students who were very passionate about things outside of the classroom.”
Likewise, Andino said she found a home for her advocacy efforts on the Hilltop.
“I’d never heard of Georgetown until the summer before my senior year, and I fell in love with the school,” Andino said. “I knew I wanted to study government. I interned for my councilmember back in high school, and I did advocacy for Latino senior citizens.”
The two decided to form a ticket together because of a joint commitment to change the Georgetown University Student Association, according to Maura McDonough (COL ’18), who is serving as Mack and Andino’s campaign manager.
Both candidates are involved in GUSA, where they work to advocate for increased opportunities for marginalized student groups.
Andino joined GUSA last fall to continue advocating for members of the Hispanic and Latinx community as the Undocumented Student Inclusivity policy team chair.
“Connecting students to administrators is what I see as my crucial role there, because that’s when you see more perspectives and administrators can hear more perspectives from students,” Andino said.
Mack said his role as a secretary of local educational affairs for GUSA’s D.C. and Federal Relations Committee has allowed him to engage with the broader D.C. community.
“I’ve been able to advocate for issues that affect Georgetown students, but not on a campus level, on a national and local level,” Mack said.
According to Mack, the campaign is bound together by shared values and a commitment to key issues.
“We individually started thinking about running before we met each other. We both had the goal of making GUSA more diverse, more representative of the entire student body,” Mack said.
Mack, as a member of the historically black fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha D.C. chapter, and Andino, as a member of Georgetown’s Scholarship Program, believe their on-campus experiences would help them diversify GUSA.
“Being in the executive means that not only do you have the obligation of engaging with administrators, but also building community within campus — and also neighbors — so you’re facing a lot groups to meet with and advocate for,” Mack said. “We want to engage with student groups, and there’s definitely a lot of room to do that with my commitments next year, which as of now are the fraternity and living in the Black House.”
While the rest of the GUSA executive candidates are juniors, Andino thinks Mack’s position as the lone sophomore brings a unique perspective to their campaign.
“When we were first talking about our vision, it was very similar,” Andino said. “He’s a sophomore but he’s shown a lot of work and a lot of passion and that’s a very good thing for GUSA, since we are trying to aim for something fresh and new. So that’s a big benefit.”
McDonough said the pair share a passion to get things done.
“How that works together really well as a team is Kamar is the one who can come up with big ideas and say, ‘This is what I want to do, this is the big long term thing,’” McDonough said. “And Jessica is a little more practical in that she has all the knowledge behind it and she’s like ‘OK, let’s flesh it out, let’s do this.’”
Beyond the policy suggestions and their platform, Mack and Andino share a joint vision for the future of GUSA.
“As a pair we really are able to lift each other up,” Mack said. “At the very end of the day, we both just wanted to see a positive change in campus. We both also have the courage to fight for things and speak up if necessary.”
Hoya Staff Writer Ian Scoville contributed reporting.
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