Candidates Release Platforms, Put Up Fliers

By Clare McMahon Hoya Staff Writer

The four tickets for next year’s GUSA executive released their platforms at midnight Monday, at the beginning of campaign week.

While each ticket is focusing on separate issues, a common theme from each of the four campaigns is the need for action next year, especially following the debate on GUSA reform that occupied GUSA for most of this school year.

Each ticket is well aware of campus-wide apathy for the Student Association following last semester’s extensive self-examination. Every candidate has a different method for bringing respect back to GUSA and the focus back to the student body, not the politicians.

Andrews/Butler

As members of the Student Leadership Reform Group, Rip Andrews (SFS ’01) and John Butler (COL ’01) are looking to bring “new and positive energy to student leadership at Georgetown,” according to their platform.

Andrews and Butler divide their plan their plan into three sets of goals, called “First Moves,” “Small Moves,” and “Big Moves.” Their ideas include water fountains in New South, weekend eating hours for Darnall, munch-money scanners at Uncommon Grounds and Vital Vittles, and the organization of a national diversity conference, to be held on campus next year.

Andrews, a current GUSA representative, and Butler were leaders in last semester’s `Common Sense’ movement, which agitated for GUSA to effect major structural changes through a new constitution. These demands resulted in the formation of SLRG, whose recommendations will be on the ballot for student vote on Election Day.

According to the Andrews/Butler platform, “Student government should command respect on campus. It should include everyone in its system and help to bring about tangible improvements in the lives of students . We do not want to make false promises, but at the same time we do not want to be limited in our aspirations.”

Andrews described his campaign as “a team effort. We have some amazingly energetic people as part of our network. We realize that a team has more knowledge and time than just two guys like us, so we’re trying to get as many people involved as possible.”

Palmese/Scott

Ron Palmese (MSB ’00) and Denis Scott (COL ’00) are making the issue of corporate funding the foundation of their campaign.

According to their platform, “Our idea is to create a funding commission governed by the leaders of various campus clubs and organizations. Control over the distribution of money will be explicitly in their hands.”

They say they hope to attract sponsors willing to donate money to campus organizations and clubs. Through this sponsorship, student clubs will be able to expand and achieve more, and “club sports will be allocated money that is certainly necessary,” according to the platform.

Last year, Mike Minnaugh (SFS ’99) and Pete Corsell (SFS ’00) espoused the idea of corporate funding as part of their unsuccessful campaign for the GUSA Executive. Palmese said Corsell had offered a great deal of assistance to the Palmese/ Scott ticket.

Also, the Palmese/Scott ticket is focusing on establishing a Student Center, a lounge where students could relax, using some of the free space already existing on campus. Their suggestions include Village C Formal Lounge, Bulldog Alley and St. Mary’s basement. They propose that it include air-hockey and pin-pong tables, a big screen television, and billiards. The expenses would be covered by corporate funding, according to their platform.

Palmese and Scott hope to provide tangible results to students as part of their administration, such as a GUTS Internship Shuttle to Capitol Hill and a Dorm Community Council, which would meet weekly with the GUSA Executive to “discuss current issues and to voice their concerns. This council will allow students greater insight into the status of the student government and will enable them to provide feedback to fellow classmates,” according to Palmese and Scott’s platform.

Rusin/McLarty

Trevor Rusin (COL ’00) and Theron McLarty (COL ’00) have been involved with GUSA as co-chairs of the Junior Class Committee. Both see their relative outsider’s perspective as an advantage.

“We’re not GUSA veterans,” Rusin said, “but we’ve been out there making a difference in people’s lives.”

Rusin cited his work as co-chair of Hoya Blue as an example of his on-campus involvement, while McLarty is president of the Southern Society.

Rusin and McLarty say the key to their platform is a focus on increased communication between the Student Association and students, through mediums like a GUSA web page and a monthly electronic newsletter.

According to their platform, “Georgetown is not always the most `homey’ place to live. . The two most striking manifestations of this problem are the lack of a true student center and dismal dorm lounges. We are committed to taking back Leavey and improving lounges.”

In order to finance these changes, Rusin and McLarty are proposing increased alumni donations and outside sponsorship. Both claim that they are “not about personal power and political attitude. Right now no one is fighting for the students and we will.”

Yeatman/Wright

Jon Yeatman (MSB ’00) and Wendi Wright (SFS ’01) are planning on attacking the Student Association’s conflict and bickering head-on and proposing changes that they say are designed to unify the government and the average student.

According to the Yeatman/Wright platform, “There is no Student Association without students. It is our goal to unify the interests of the students and the Student Association. To reach this goal, we will build an inclusive Student Association centered on the interests of students.”

Some of these student-oriented ideas include building a student lounge in the space that will be left vacant once the New South cafeteria moves to the Southwest Quadrangle, which is scheduled for completion by 2002.

Also, Yeatman and Wright said they plan to fight for more campus ATMs and 24-Hour meal times at New South during exams.

Both candidates stress their experience as what sets them apart from their opponents. Their campaign slogan is “Work, not words,” and both candidates come to the race having worked on numerous GUSA and on-campus committees. Wright has been involved with GUSA’s Off-Campus Housing Committee, and Yeatman was the co-chair of GUSA’s Student Services Committee.

“Even as GUSA was stuck this year, we were out there getting things done,” Yeatman said.

Wright added, “GUSA is a failure when it focuses on itself. But when it focuses on students instead, a lot can be accomplished, and we’re willing to do the work.”

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