Upon reviewing the GUSA executive order for staff appointments, students will find several familiar names. This year’s appointments of Jack Appelbaum (COL ’14), Spencer Walsh (MSB ’14) and Shavonnia Corbin-Johnson (COL ’14) reflect a successful pattern emerging from student body elections — the incorporation of passionate individuals from other tickets into the elected duo’s administration.

While Georgetown University Student Association elections are often criticized for the over-hyped competition and contention they create, the appointments reflect the more pragmatic reality of the association. Apart from instances of divisive campaigning, GUSA has proved apt at incorporating members of losing tickets in a way that is effective in achieving a wider range of goals from the campaign.

After the 2011 elections, Mike Meaney (SFS ’12) and Greg Laverriere (COL ’12) recruited former competitors Ace Factor (COL ’12) and James Pickens (COL ’12) to help with the creation of the Student Advocacy Office, the highest priority on Pickens and Factor’s platform.

There are numerous examples of GUSA contenders who stayed involved after defeat in the February elections. The decision demonstrates maturity from both the executives and the failed candidates.

This pattern has allowed for the incorporation of signature projects from other campaigns and also takes advantage of specialization by allowing those who know the issue best to determine the process. In order for the system to work, though, GUSA executives must think carefully about placing the individuals in positions that they are truly well-suited for and not allow themselves to split into making staff positions political currency. The choice of Spencer Walsh for director of technology, for example, is a particularly good choice given Walsh’s demonstrated expertise in technology issues.

GUSA does its best with passionate people driving its operations, and now that the echo of door knocking has stopped ringing in students’ ears, the real work for the executive begins.

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