Until this weekend, Enushe Khan (MSB ’17) and Chris Fisk (COL ’17) were the de facto Georgetown University Student Association executives-to-be. They were experienced, charismatic and had amassed enough support that come election season, no other tickets wanted to run against them. But with the emergence of two unexpectedly popular write-in campaigns as alternatives, the Reed Howard (SFS ’17) and Courtney Maduike (SFS ’17) and the satirical Hot Chick and Chicken Madness tickets, some students may see an opportunity to reject a predetermined election. What’s more, last week’s news that Khan intends to take an intensive summer internship at Goldman Sachs, election results notwithstanding, may have further deterred students from voting for Khan and Fisk.
But even with this news, Khan and Fisk still offer the best vision, the best experience and the most inclusive spirit of any candidates or campaign, official or unofficial.
Experience and Passion
In her time as a GUSA senator, chair of the senate Student Life Committee and then speaker of GUSA senate, Khan worked heavily on dining and auxiliary services policies, student art outreach, residential life outreach, public safety and, most notably, overseeing campus planning policy, including the senate subcommittee that launched the successful “Let’s Not Get Screwed Again” campaign. She has proven to be an effective, meticulous and reliable advocate. Amid the discussions and protests for racial justice on campus this fall, Khan met with leaders of minority advocacy groups on campus and championed solidarity legislation in the GUSA senate, building on her previous support gained by implementing the diversity requirement. Particularly important at a Catholic university dedicated to interfaith dialogue, Khan has served as chair of interfaith and service for the Muslim Student Association since her freshman year.
Fisk has distinguished himself by working tirelessly on issues of socio-economic and racial inequality as a board member of the Georgetown Scholarship Program. He has been a driving force to level the playing field for students applying to campus organizations with a perceived culture of exclusivity, including the Blue and Gray Tour Guide Society, of which he is a former board member. He currently serves as a deputy chief of staff in the GUSA executive, focusing on issues of dining and auxiliary services, academics and student groups.
With their respective experience in the senate and executive, Khan and Fisk have put forward a new model to restructure GUSA by streamlining bureaucracy, eliminating redundancies and giving more people a seat at the table — literally. Many past executive campaigns have promised to broaden GUSA’s inclusivity and diversity, but Khan and Fisk have put forward a tangible and comprehensive plan to do just that.
Both Khan and Fisk are personally charismatic but also exceptionally articulate and informed on virtually every important issue. They freely admit that they won’t be able to accomplish everything on their platform but they have a clear list of priorities, ranking the negotiation of the 2017-2037 Campus Plan first, and including a pledge to prevent any new construction on campus before essential renovations to dorms are completed.
With what has been called the biggest campaign team in election history, coupled with an innovative restructuring model for the executive and senate, the Khan-Fisk ticket promises to make GUSA a powerful force for advocacy. In a campaign that has been largely unopposed, Khan and Fisk have tactfully engaged with students without being excessively overbearing in the style of previous GUSA elections.
Ultimately, none of Khan and Fisk’s opponents offer a substantially different or inspiring vision for GUSA. The Howard-Maduike ticket’s three-point platform is commendably straightforward, but it lacks the breadth and depth of Khan and Fisk’s. Howard and Maduike have not undergone the scrutiny that Fisk and Khan have and their entry into the race seems opportunistic, coming on the heels of recent criticism of the one-ticket election and the internship disclosure. Though their passion to reform GUSA and foster grassroots student activism is admirable, the editorial board feels that their campaign lacks concrete implementation strategies and would have benefited from more time and planning.
The Hot Chick-Chicken Madness ticket has presented a humorous critique of GUSA politics, but ultimately falls far short of the substantive satire of the Luther-Rohan administration.
Although the editorial board reacted with apprehension and disapproval to the news that Khan intends to take an intensive summer internship regardless of election results, our interviews lead us to believe that she and the staff she has put together will execute the duties necessary to advocate for the student body this summer, particularly in campus plan negotiations. The internship will detract from an ideal start to the Khan-Fisk administration, but theirs is ultimately the best ticket out there.
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