Candidates Talk Platforms
Published: Friday, February 14, 2014
Updated: Friday, February 14, 2014 12:02
Following the official beginning of the Georgetown University Student Association executive election campaign period at midnight Thursday, the four tickets each released platforms illustrating priorities they would pursue if elected. The presidential candidates will meet in a debate Feb. 23 while the vice presidential candidates will face off on a yet undetermined date between Feb. 18 and 20. The election takes place online Feb 27.
Thomas & Jimmy: Together With Georgetown
Thomas Lloyd (SFS ’15) and Jimmy Ramirez (COL ’15), seek to guide their campaign by adhering to their motto, “Empower Hoyas to build vibrant communities by using innovative tools.”
In order to accomplish this empowerment, Lloyd and Ramirez suggest adopting more liberal open container and medical amnesty policies, expanding the role of the Student Advocacy Office in the judicial process and increasing opportunities for undergraduate research and cross-disciplinary study.
“Vibrant communities” refers to the promotion of free speech rights, increasing space for artistic pursuits, the refurbishment of spaces such as Kehoe Field and initiatives designed to promote diversity in student leadership.
Lastly, “innovative tools,” includes a housing points bonus to incentivize student participation in student group-run events, as well as technology and sustainability initiatives.
Lloyd emphasized the importance of cultivating an inclusive, welcoming community that fosters diversity and interorganizational cooperation, and how he plans to use incentives to achieve this goal.
“The idea of community is particularly important to Jimmy and I as people who worked to increase diversity in different organizations,” Lloyd said. “In the GUSA executive, we would want to actually cut the budget of the GUSA Fund to establish incentives for groups to collaborate, so that money is earmarked specifically for programs that deal with collaboration, diversity or safety.”
Zach & Dan: Building Your Georgetown
Zach Singer (SFS ’15) and Dan Silkman’s (COL ’15) platform promotes a three-pronged approach to addressing student life at Georgetown. It stresses collaboration between different student groups, particularly through the “What’s a Hoya?” program and GUSA support of previously unrecognized groups on campus. Additionally, the team seeks to further pluralism at Georgetown through the creation of a leadership fund, which would help students overcome financial burdens, as well as through initiatives designed to enhance the experience of sophomores and transfer students.
The platform additionally includes sustainability, quality student housing in the former Jesuit residence buildings and a fair judiciary process for students as central tenets of its vision for Georgetown’s future.
According to Silkman, the proposed Leadership Fund is a particularly unique and valuable means of promoting opportunities for financially constrained students.
“We talk about the financial barriers that exist at Georgetown, and we mention the establishment of a leadership fund,” Silkman said. “It will consist of money earmarked in our budget for student leaders on campus who are looking to run for positions that may or may not require financial contributions beyond the candidate’s means.”
Singer described his campaign’s larger theme as a mediator between the student body and the university administration.
“On a lot of the issues, we ask what GUSA can do to address the problem, and what can we do with the administration and how can we convey the needs of the students to the administration,” Singer said.
Trevor & Omika: Connect to Georgetown
Trevor Tezel (SFS ’15) and Omika Jikaria’s (SFS ’15) platform is divided into three sections, entitled “connecting to your values,” “connecting to your community” and “connecting to your world.”
The “values” portion deals with issues relating to promoting and expanding free speech, student rights, transparency within GUSA and intercultural understanding on campus. The “community” section addresses the lack of space for the arts on campus, the necessity of renovating Kehoe field and the promotion of entrepreneurship and improvements in campus club funding, among other issues.
The “world” segment advocates the improvement of relations with the larger D.C. community, the implementation of sustainability projects on campus and the adoption of technology designed to improve student life.
Tezel views GUSA’s role as facilitator and advocate for student rights as one of the most important points of his ticket’s platform.
“We want to connect students to both GUSA and the administration, through things like the multicultural council and holding office hours for GUSA,” Tezel said. “We also want to shore up the code of conduct processes for handling sexual assaults, as well as looking at some of the social polices.”