Consider the Candidate
Editorial

A2 Cartoon NaazThis year’s one-ticket race of Enushe Khan (MSB ’17) and Chris Fisk (COL ’17) represents progress for the Georgetown University Student Association presidential campaigns.

Perhaps due in part to the hectic and dramatic campaign season of last year, many members who would have run this year consolidated to one ticket. The consolidation presents an opportunity for the most qualified students for the job to work together in the most effective way.

However, we encourage students to take this opportunity to take a closer look at the candidates running.

Khan, who currently stands unopposed to become GUSA president for the 2016-17 school year, recently accepted an offer at Goldman Sachs’ merchant banking division in New York City for the upcoming summer. Not only was she offered the position, but the merchant banking division hand-selected and invited her to the section after she had applied for a different one.

Clearly, Goldman Sachs recognizes the same work ethic and leadership abilities in Khan that her large 200-person staff does. However, we believe that Khan will not be able to fulfill her leadership potential if she divides her time over the summer between two time-intensive positions.

While most Georgetown students are preoccupied with internships and summer jobs, the GUSA president and vice president have tremendous responsibilities each summer, working up to 30 to 40 hours a week in their positions — and that’s when both the president and vice president are on campus.

This summer will prove to be especially important for the two candidates, as it will be an essential time for negotiation with the neighbors in finalizing the 2017-2037 Campus Plan, our new contract with the neighborhood for the next 20 years. We worry that the president’s absence for 10 weeks during the summer will disrupt continuity during these negotiations, thus hindering the negotiating process for a plan that could benefit students for years to come.

As a Goldman Sachs intern, Khan will work officially from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Friday — although Goldman Sachs interns are known to work until much later at night. She has proposed to travel to Washington, D.C. every Saturday to attend meetings for the Georgetown Community Partnership, a forum created with the 2010 Campus Plan to engage the neighborhood community in master planning, and any meetings with administrators willing to meet on a Saturday.

Khan said Goldman Sachs has guaranteed that she will not be asked to work Saturdays, which would allow her to take a train to the District in the morning, attend meetings throughout the day and then take a late train home before work Sunday morning.
She said she also plans to video call in on important meetings at night, which she plans to prioritize in her schedule.

According to section 15.01 of the Election Commission policy, the GUSA president is required to remain in D.C. during the summer to act as the undergraduate student representative. The president may be excused from this duty by majority vote of the senate, in which case the president must choose a “suitable substitute.” Khan is currently the speaker of the senate, but we hope that nevertheless, the senate will review her case objectively.

In Khan’s absence, many responsibilities will fall to other cabinet members and new policy chairs who will stay in D.C. As Khan’s running mate, Fisk will assume a large load of responsibility over the summer. We ask that student voters consider not only Khan’s talents and skills, but take particular care to consider those of Fisk and the cabinet, which will be primarily involved in the discussions and planning over the summer.

Try as she may, Khan cannot be in two cities at once. She has referred to her relationship with Fisk as a partnership, and students should consider Fisk’s increased role in master planning negotiations — which affect housing, construction projects and neighborhood relations — when questioning the unopposed candidates during town hall-style debates this semester. Ultimately, it is essential that two executives are here fulfilling the responsibilities that fall on GUSA this summer, no matter who they are.

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3 Comments

  1. Christy Haynes says:

    I am very disappointed with this editorial. First, I do not believe that a one-ticket race represents progress. It comes at the expense of a competitive, vocal student-body democracy. Yes, that democracy may be imperfect and elections may be grueling, but I do not think the unwillingness of people to run and the collapsing of campaigns into one ticket is something to be celebrated. I am sure Enushe and Chris will do a great job, but uncontested elections are not a trend I want to see continue in the future. Second, and most importantly, I feel like the writers of this editorial are forgetting that there is life outside of and after Georgetown. Enushe’s job successes are an incredible achievement that should serve as a model for Georgetown students. To suggest that she would be incapable of serving in her role sufficiently, or that it would have been preferable had she not achieved those successes, is discouraging. If GUSA policy allows a president to be excused, then this was obviously a scenario that was thought up during its drafting and it should be no problem. By the way, if that is something that truly concerns the Editorial Board, then it would seem to chip away at your opening statement that a one-ticket race is progress. Perhaps we should have had some competition that would point out Enushe’s inability to be in DC full-time this summer so that the student body can make that decision. But seeing as the student body seems to be more “forgiving” of a fellow student’s career success than the Editorial Board, I doubt that would change voters’ minds.

  2. Ten weeks she’ll be gone. GUSA Presidents are on campus and expected to work 40 hour weeks. That means she’ll be skipping out on 400 hours of GUSA work. She shouldn’t be elected. If she can’t devote the time, she shouldn’t be asking us to give her the position.

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