They have different backgrounds, different ideas on how to make Georgetown better and different levels of experience in GUSA, but on Tuesday, all four candidates for the Student Association’s presidency will face the verdict of the students they hope to govern. In the final days before voters head to the polls, the would-be presidents and their running mates will cross campus trying to persuade students to join their side, seeking out every last vote. The issues range from bringing meal plans to more venues on campus to improving the university’s e-mail system. Which will matter most when Georgetown decides?

Running Mates Bond in Campaign

Lindsay Anderson/The Hoya Jake Styacich (COL ’09), foreground, one of the four presidential candidates in Tuesday’s GUSA election, speaks to students Wednesday evening during a meet and greet in Sellinger Lounge.

Jake Styacich (COL ’09) and John Dougherty (SFS ’09) learned a little bit about each other this week. Even though they have been friends for about a year, the two have perhaps never gotten a better sense of each other than during their door-to-door campaign across campus. “It’s fast-track things,” Styacich, one of four candidates for GUSA president in Tuesday’s election, said. “We have become closer in the race.”He’s the flirt of the group, and I’m a little more hardcore,” Styacich said of his running mate. Styacich, the Student Association’s secretary of housing and facilities, has built his campaign platform around his work in office. He said that, if elected, he would expand GoCard access and meal plan flexibility on campus, initiatives he said he has pushed for in negotiations over the Darnall Hall cafeteria and Hoya Court. Running on a platform filled with both long- and short-term issues, Styacich and Dougherty have created an extensive to-do list to keep them occupied should they win office. Their campaign speech has emphasized the future, fitting words, perhaps, from the only sophomores in the race. “I like it for the fact that we will be accountable for what we do, because we are going to be here for the next two years,” Styacich said. Though Dougherty has had no experience in GUSA, he is the vice president of the Georgetown Admissions Ambassador Program and a member of Blue and Gray Tour Guide Society. The self-proclaimed optimists say Dougherty’s lack of GUSA experience can work to his advantage. “He has that fresh perspective and hasn’t been bogged down by the long-term issues we’ve had,” Styacich said. “He will bring in new ideas and new solutions.” An officer of the Georgetown University Grilling Society, Styacich said there is a need for more campus activities, like block parties, which he said will promote safety on campus. “It will breed a safer environment,” he said. In addition, the two hope to create a late-night walking escort service for students. Not to be outdone by other candidates who have made videos a major part of their campaign, the two have produced two of their own: one announcing their campaign and a second in which they rewrote the lyrics to Billy Joel’s “Piano Man.”I like the use of technology but I don’t want it to overrun the campaign,” Styacich said. “I want the campaign to be about the issues.”

– Meghan Keneally

An Odd Couple, A United Effort

Walking into a student lounge on the fourth floor of New South Hall Wednesday night, Luke Hillman (COL ’08) and Gage Raley (COL ’08) couldn’t have looked any more like polar opposites. Hillman, clean-shaven and decked out in a suit and tie, prefers the one-on-one talk with students about the issues he knows best. “I want to tell you why I can deliver on campus technology,” he said to one student. Raley, who finished a distant third on the top of the ticket in last year’s GUSA presidential election, prefers his jeans and cowboy boots and is working on a beard. He uses his sense of humor and Southern drawl to get students excited. “We are campaigning on what we know we can get done, not what we think we can get done,” he said to a group of students. But together, Hillman and Raley complement each other perfectly. Hillman, a government major who is presenting himself as the most tech-savvy candidate in the race, has been working on formulating the ticket’s proposed platform. Raley, a government major from Texas who is preparing for the LSAT in his spare time, is the face of the campaign, communicating the ticket’s message to the student population at large. “We’re having a great time out there, that’s for sure,” Raley said. Hillman and Raley, both transfer students, admit that their names might not be as easily recognizable as some of those on the other presidential tickets, but they are confident that, with creative campaign videos and a simple platform on which they can follow through, they can win student support and confidence. The duo’s campaign concentrates on a number of issues, but university technology is at the forefront. They are most concerned with improving the campus wireless network and e-mail service. Hillman, a UIS employee, said that he has been in touch with representatives at Google about developing a contract for Google to take over the university’s e-mail. The improved interface will offer all of the features provided by Google’s GMail, including larger storage space and bolstered spam protections. “The plan is to immediately provide students with what they need,” Hillman said. “And we’re already working to do that.” Hillman and Raley also plan to change meal plan flexibility, and hope to expand block meal plans to freshmen and sophomores, in addition to extending the flexibility of the Grab-n-Go option to block meal plans. “Our contacts with important administrators will help us most of all to get things done,” Hillman said. “We have to be realistic, and we’ll help administrators to see that.” Hillman confesses that he is not much of a politician, but feels that he’s done his homework and can realistically deliver his promises to the student body. “I know without a doubt that I can follow through on my platform,” he said. “That’s what motivates me the most.”

– Patrick Skeehan

Envisioning a Reformed GUSA

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The campaign trail isn’t always a safe place, as Enoch Bevel (COL ’08) and Muir Jawed (SFS ’08) learned yesterday when they were bombarded by a group of freshmen playing a game of Assassins on the fourth floor of New South. “This is the craziest floor I’ve ever been on,” Bevel said, as a freshman with an orange water gun sped furiously past him. With all the chaos going on around them, Bevel, wearing his signature checkered driving hat, and Jawed, dressed in a shirt and tie, were still able to bring their campaign platform to students. Each took half of the floor, and together they knocked on nearly every door, introducing themselves and asking students for their input. “My goal is to go door-to-door, talk with every single person and to make sure everyone gets a chance to say what they want out of their student leaders,” Bevel said. Bevel, a former vice chair of the defunct GUSA Assembly, transferred to Georgetown during his sophomore year from Montgomery Community College (Md.), where he served as student body president. Bevel and Jawed campaign slogan is “It’s Time,” emphasizing their desire for a change in the Student Association’s basic operations. At the forefront of their platform is the establishment of a student government that reflects Georgetown’s academic image. “Georgetown has one of the best government departments in the country, and yet, year after year, there have been serious problems with our student government,” he said. “Student government should reflect the intellect of the student body.” Bevel said that he’d like to coordinate with faculty to introduce an academic seminar on student politics, with the hope of making it a requirement for any future GUSA presidential candidate. Campaign Manager Jakob Rieken (SFS ’07) said that that Bevel would hold weekly meetings with students if elected. “We want to have something like the Prime Minister’s question time, as they do it in British Parliament,” Rieken said. “You know, to give students the opportunity to rail the administration if they’re concerned about something.” In addition to their overarching campaign goals, Bevel and Jawed are also focused on delivering specific promises like improved student space in Lauinger Library, an extended add/drop period and more meal plan options for students. “The issues don’t change,” Bevel said. “But the candidates do. Everyone is interested in the problems that affect them, so I talk to students about just that to gain their trust and support.” While Jawed stays to do more campaigning, Bevel has to head over to Leavey Center for a radio interview on WGTB. Although he has not slept for the past two days, he stays energized and focused, ready for his next campaign function. “For me, it’s all about making people understand who you are,” he said, “because everyone wants to be a part of a good change.”

– Patrick Skeehan

Loving GU, But Wanting More

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Lindsay Anderson/The Hoya Ben Shaw (COL ’08) and Matthew Appenfeller (COL ’08) post campaign banners in Red Square yesterday.

Ben Shaw (COL ’08) and Matthew Appenfeller (COL ’08) didn’t even have to leave their dorm rooms to get their faces all over campus. In the 24 hours after the duo posted the promotional campaign video “Vote in a Box” – based on the well-known Saturday Night Live sketch “Dick in a Box” – on Youtube.com Tuesday morning, the video had been viewed 1,628 times, making it the Web site’s 55th most-viewed comedy video for the day. “It was this organic moment,” said Shaw, one of four presidential candidates on the ballot in Tuesday’s GUSA executive election, about the music video’s conception. Since proudly posting the video’s viewership statistics on their campaign’s Facebook group, Shaw and Appenfeller, his running mate, have chosen to focus on more substantive issues. “We’re trying not to make it too much about the video,” Shaw said. The two have since focused their campaign on identifying specific areas in which the university could be improved, plastering the catchy slogan “I love Georgetown, but.” on flyers and banners around campus and on their Web site. On the wall to the ticket’s Facebook group hang over 80 posts by students, the majority of which begin with the slogan and continue to make suggestions for improving Georgetown. “I love Georgetown, but it’s a major problem that our meals do not roll over and we only get two guest meals per semester,” one student wrote. “I love Georgetown, but I wish winter would come back (I don’t think you can do anything about that one),” another joked. “From the start of the campaign we’ve derived our platforms from the students,” Appenfeller said. “We’re making our biggest issues the student’s biggest issues.” Shaw said that his campaign platform includes bettering technology, improving meal plans and bringing free professional newspapers to campus, which he described as “the kind of practical thing you can do to make GUSA relevant.” Neither candidate is a GUSA novice; Shaw is a member of the executive cabinet, and Appenfeller is a member of the Senate. Shaw said that their experience has given them many contacts that will be useful in effecting change. “I’ve sat in all the meetings and I know the people that know the people,” he said. While there is a large time commitment that comes along with GUSA presidential and vice-presidential positions, Shaw said that he has no reservations. “I definitely realize the time commitment but, honest to God, I think if we actually get something done for a change it’ll be worth it,” Shaw said.

– Meghan Keneally

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