Howard-Maduike Ticket Enter GUSA Executive Race

Reed & Courtney for GUSA Executive

Reed & Courtney for GUSA Executive

Reed Howard (SFS ’17) and Courtney Maduike (SFS ’17) announced their entrance into the 2016 Georgetown University Student Association executive race through a social media campaign and an informal town hall event in the Former Jesuit Residence great room Monday night, the same time as the official town hall in the Healey Family Student Center.

The campaign will join the recent rise of write-in campaigns, which also include the Hot Chick and Chicken Madness, and Harsh Thakker (SFS ’18) and Anton Smaliak (SFS ’18).

Howard previously served as GUSA Deputy Chief of Staff in the executive of former President Trevor Tezel (SFS ‘15) and Vice President Omika Jikaria (SFS ‘15), in addition to serving as an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner for district 2E and as a New Student Orientation Coordinator.

Maduike has no prior experience serving in the GUSA Senate, but has served as a coordinator for the GUSA Executive-sponsored “What’s a Hoya?” program. Maduike is also member of the Georgetown University Women of Color board, a founding member of the Georgetown Africa Business Conference, a member of the Blue & Grey Tour Guide Society and a sister in the Delta Phi Epsilon Professional Foreign Service Sorority.

Former GUSA presidential candidates Sara Margolis (COL ’16) and Chris Wadibia (COL ’16) both moderated the town hall, which was attended by approximately 25 students. Howard and Maduike discussed the factors that motivated hem to join the race, most prominently the desire to give Georgetown students an alternative to the Khan-Fisk campaign.

“Realizing that there was only one ticket in the race and realizing the difficult position that that put the student body in and not having an actual choice of a student who we could elect as the next GUSA executive … we wanted to make sure that the student body had an alternative or had an opportunity to exercise that agency,” Maduike said.

Howard and Maduike are currently running as write-in candidates, but have filed an appeal with the GUSA Constitutional Council to be added to the official ballot this Thursday.

Howard and Maduike first petitioned the GUSA Election Commission on Sunday, but the commission denied the request the same day, citing Howard and Maduike’s failure to attend either of two mandatory information sessions and meet deadlines for submitting election paperwork.

The Howard-Maduike ticket argues that no part of GUSA’s bylaws allows the Election Commission to mandate attendance at information sessions and the current one-ticket race presents unique circumstances.

According to GUSA Election Commissioner Alden Fletcher (SFS ’17), the Election Commission maintains that its refusal to admit Howard and Maduike to the ballot is valid.

“The election committee has to enforce the rules in the bylaws and meet the requirements of the conditions in the bylaws, and to do so requires running on deadlines to make the process function. While those aren’t elaborated specifically in the bylaws, those are sort of the necessary tools to have a coherent process,” Fletcher said in an interview with The Hoya.

The Election Commission also stressed that the circumstances of the current one-ticket ballot does not necessitate or allow a change to procedure. This year’s election is the first time GUSA has seen a one-ticket race for the executive.

“It is not appropriate to change the rules of an election just because a group of people might be unhappy with the initial outcome. That would not be fair to candidates who attended the info sessions, filed budgets, have been campaigning for a week and a half and followed the rules,” the commission wrote in an email to Howard and Maduike.

Chris Grocki (SFS ’17) and Jeff Naft (COL ’17) also appealed on Feb. 9 to be placed on the ballot and were rejected by the GUSA Constitutional Council.

Howard and Maduike said having a GUSA presidential candidate who will be on campus this summer during campus plan discussions is pivotal to ensure a campus plan agreement that represents students’ interests.

Last week, The Hoya reported that GUSA presidential candidate Enushe Khan (MSB ’17) will complete a 10-week investment banking internship with Goldman Sachs and will not be on campus for day-to-day discussions with administration if elected this summer. Khan’s running mate, Chris Fisk (COL ’17) will head campus planning talks, supported by a team of seven Khan-Fisk staffers.

Howard, in his position as a New Student Orientation Coordinator, plans to work part time in that capacity over the summer, while also attending campus plan meetings on campus.

“I think a big thing is that the GUSA executive needs to be here over the summer, and so finding out that some of the candidates are considering taking obligations that will bring them away from the city was a huge factor,” Howard said. “Students deserve someone that’s going to be here fighting for them.”

During the town hall, Howard and Maduike outlined three main pillars of their campaign policy: college affordability, race issues on the Hilltop and advocating for students in regards to the 2017-2037 Campus Plan.

On the topic of college affordability, the Howard-Maduike ticket stressed the importance of combatting undergraduate tuition increases.

“It’s time for GUSA to stop giving the administration a free pass on rising tuition rates. Over the past couple decades we’ve seen tuition soar and yet there has been little questions that GUSA has asked about where these tuition dollars are being spent,” Reed said.

Howard and Maduike also emphasized the importance of expanding on University President John J. DeGioia’s recent initiatives on race, which include the expansion of African American studies into a major department.

“We would want programming that goes into ensuring that students examine and are aware of Georgetown’s racial history with slavery and reconciliation and making sure that that’s a part of Georgetown’s identity and not just part of Georgetown’s black identity,” Maduike said.

Howard and Maduike said they are confident in their ticket’s ability to gain awareness among students and stage a viable opposition to the Khan-Fisk campaign.

“Sometimes I think positivity is infectious and we’re just going to have a lot of fun with this and hope that word travels,” Howard said. “Students want a choice in this election and so I think us giving students a choice whether or not they vote for us or not is going to create a buzz.”

Hoya Staff Writers Ian Scoville and Ashwin Puri contributed reporting.

 

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10 Comments

  1. Hoya that doesn't like being lied to says:

    “Maduike has no prior experience serving in GUSA” hmmm that’s interesting considering she was a coordinator for What’s a Hoya for a year, literally a part of GUSA.

  2. I have questions about the Reed/Courtney ticket. This whole election has seemed shady to me, like I’m actually watching the shadows of something way bigger beyond my field of vision but these two candidates are particularly weird. I’m going to raise a few points because it seems like nobody else (especially you Hoya, your journalistic integrity this election cycle is hovering between FOX and Infowars) is asking questions about this second ticket. I’m being harsh, because conversation is desperately needed.

    Who decides to run for GUSA three days before the election? I’ll tell you: nobody.
    This whole showing up as the darkhorse and just “providing an alternative” is a nuanced, strategic decision. It makes sense: we have had weeks, months even, to vet Enushe and Chris. We know everything about them. We’ve made a huge show of Enushe’s Goldman Sachs job, we’ve picked apart their platform. We will have no such opportunity with Reed and Courtney. By coming in at the last minute, they have set things up so that this campaign is the facts of Enushe and Chris versus the ideas of Reed and Courtney. I have serious objections to a ticket which is unwilling to face the public evaluation.
    And unwilling they have been. Not only did they not attend a single Election Commission mandated pre-filing event (and yet still act scandalized that they are not on the ballot – follow the rules and you reap the rewards), they also did not attend the Election Commission’s town hall last night. Instead, they held their own event in a building a block away. This protected them from hard questions and public scrutiny. I certainly couldn’t be at both. It is worth noting that, even as a write in candidacy, they would have been able to make opening and closing statements and answer questions from campus media and the floor had they attended the legitimate election cycle event. Reed and Courtney will be going to the ballot box without having participated in a single facet of the Georgetown election cycle. What do Reed and Courtney have to hide?

    It is worth noting that Reed has made statements about why he came into the election so late. I don’t know much about GUSA, and who am I to contribute to the rumor mill, but here it is. He claimed that Chris Fisk (the Vice Presidential half of Enushe and Chris) “intimidated” him out of running with his “friendship”. Essentially, assuming (a big assumption) this is true, Chris convinced Reed not to run because Chris was running and told Reed they wouldn’t be friends anymore if Reed ran? And that was enough to convince Reed? At first, as a Enushe and Chris supporter, I was a little taken aback by Chris. This isn’t what we expect from someone who brands himself as a teddy bear. Then I thought about the situation as it scales to either of them in executive office. As President, Reed would be expected to represent our student interests against an occasionally hostile administration and even – God forbid – the people of Burleith. We need a President who is strong, whose commitment to Georgetown and whose drive to serve this student body is bigger than being “intimidated” by a “friendship”. This is not what I want in the person sitting across from John Carrey’s neighbors as they verbally berate our President and hard choices need to be made. If he can’t stand up to a conversation between friends, what can he stand up to? I don’t want a President who cries uncle, or just stays silent. And if I did, I’d elect a sandwich.
    And what about Chris? Did he convince Reed not to run? If so, good for him. It’s not the most aboveground thing that’s ever happened, but that’s what a vice president is for. Vice Presidents are for getting into the mud and making things happen. This is why I find this story difficult to believe.

    Another question I have: what is going on with Reed and Courtney and GUSA?
    Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I like my leaders of organizations to be from the organizations they’re supposed to be leading. Where have Reed and Courtney been? They are telling us they should be the top dogs, but they’ve been unwilling to put in the grunt work as mid-range GUSA. On their facebook page, they talk about how Reed was an assistant Chief of Staff two years ago. Where was he last year? Did he take a sabbatical? Write a novel? It seems to me that he flat out left GUSA for the past year. Why did this happen? Did he quit in rage when Luther/Rohan won? Does he not have good working relationships with the current leadership? In any case, he’s not in-tune with where GUSA is now. If elected, he’d have to spend weeks/months just trying to figure out what is going on. Those are weeks/months when the administration can write their own campus plan unencumbered by an informed student association.
    What about Courtney? There’s no denying she’s incredibly involved on campus. So why does that impressive resume not include GUSA? She casts herself as a GUSA outsider, and that disturbs me a little. When somebody is as involved in Courtney it seems like it would actually take some work to avoid getting involved with the advocacy work available through the student association. Do we really want someone leading our GUSA who seems to have an active contempt for it? Who has made little attempt to engage in it? One doesn’t need to be Vice-President to improve an organization. Why does she insist on us giving her such an impressive title in order for her to start making changes? Where has Courtney been for the last two years?
    Oh – but she has been in GUSA, hasn’t she? She’s a What’s a Hoya coordinator. So at her kabuki town hall last night she claimed she wasn’t in GUSA, while simultaneously being integral to GUSA. Just, not the sort of GUSA anybody wants to take credit for. It makes sense. Better to claim no affiliation with GUSA than to call into question one’s administrative ability by confessing to be behind WAH.

    And what about their platform?
    Seems to me like they sat down and put together some platitudes and hoped nobody would look too closely.
    Rising tuition costs: at least from my understanding, tuition costs are rising as a gesture of inclusivity. Those who can pay more pay more so that those who can’t can come to the hilltop. I cannot fathom how Reed and Courtney are against this. Perhaps they’d like to go into detail of exactly what extraneous tuition-based administration spending they would slash?
    What’s really funny is that while saying they want to hold tuition down out of one side of their mouth they announce that they want more diversity training out of the other. We can all get behind diversity training, which is probably why they said it. Goodness knows we don’t want a ticket which takes a position on something controversial. It must be mentally complex to simultaneously say they want tuition down and say they want more programming on the administration’s dime.

    This is a simplistic platform that reveals a familiarity only with the issues which are relevant to Reed and Courtney. They are not prepared, and our executive team owes it to us that from day one they are working. Education and platform building should not be happening in office. Every day of figuring it out is a day of advocacy and innovation wasted.

    This is a good start to getting a real conversation going. There are a lot of campus issues that neither candidate set has addressed, but that does not make them equals.

    The only people for whom electing Reed and Courtney is the better than electing Enushe and Chris are Reed and Courtney.

  3. Let’s talk about one other thing. Reed is running as the purist alternative to Enushe/Chris.

    Their slogan is about them being here.

    Reed is not here for us. He is a paid NSO coordinator, and will be just as absent as he is claiming Enushe will be.

    Let’s think about that for a moment.

    Let’s repeat it: Reed also has a summer job. He would be little to no more here this summer than Enushe would be.

    Reed has demonstrated that he is no better, and is just as committed as his opposition this summer. So now that that one single hold – his only claim to maybe being a superior Presidential candidate – is gone, how does he stand up to Enushe? Dollars to donuts, he just doesn’t. Enushe has been here for Georgetown every step of the way. She quit the Phantoms for GUSA. She mastered complex policy for GUSA. She and Chris have spent months interacting with every facet of campus so that the platform they have now produced is a platform of solutions, not a platform of complaints (like a certain opposition – those three points which are really like 30 points are all just coopted from Enushe and Chris anyway), and a platform of solutions that reflects the interests of the entire hilltop.
    If she’s taking this Goldman job, you can bet your bottom dollar there must be a darn good reason. And, honestly, we can’t demand our most qualified candidates, here in 2016, to give up their entire lives for GUSA. We as a student body have done a pretty piss-poor job supporting our student association. How can we expect candidates to give everything to an organization we give nothing to?
    Enushe is the best we can get, and I’m thankful she’s even willing to run. Honestly, she’s better than we deserve. Maybe if you want better presidential candidates, build a better GUSA.

    Oh, on that last note, I fail to comprehend how voting Chicken Madness will somehow generate a mystical solution to the perceived problems. So what, new tickets show up? People who weren’t willing to serve when the election season started back in January but want a slice of the power now that the pickings are easier? Gee, I want those people to be my student leaders. Starting the election cycle over is idiotic. Not to mention that would put the election cycle critical weeks of campus planning. The administration and the citizens of Burleith must be jumping with the joy at the possibility of Georgetown students being naive enough to vote for sandwiches as an act of misplaced rebellion. Nothing hurts us more.

    Apparently my comment this morning generated a little buzz. This is me announcing: I do not have a horse in this race. I’m just doing what nobody else is: trying to make sure that we see every side of this issue, seeing how our campus media have opted for the good story and generated conflict over representing what is actually going on.

  4. Just Passing Through says:

    REED IS GOING TO BE AN NSO COORDINATOR AKA A FULL TIME JOB THIS SUMMER WHY IS THIS A THING HE CAN’T FULFILL BOTH DUTIES OMG

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