Enushe Khan (MSB ’17) and Chris Fisk (COL ’17) are running unopposed for the Georgetown University Student Association executive with a united vision for bringing diverse communities at Georgetown together, despite following differing paths to the Hilltop.
Khan, born and raised in Dubai, said she had college on her mind from an early age.
“I did my college road trip I guess in eighth or ninth grade — I was eager,” Khan said.
Fisk, a first-generation college student who comes from a low-income, single-parent household in Florida, said college was a more abstract process for him.
“My brother went to Florida State, so when it came time for me to apply to colleges, I really had no idea what I was doing,” Fisk said. “I had a guidance counselor in high school of a school of a few thousand, so he said, ‘well you know, you might as well apply to as many schools as you can and see what happens.’”
Fisk said the Georgetown Scholarship Program coupled with Georgetown’s location in Washington, D.C., is what brought him to Georgetown.
“I got acceptance letters to multiple places but Georgetown was kind of the best financial aid package for me. I got admitted to the Georgetown Scholarship Program, which covered me almost completely, and without that I probably wouldn’t be out of state,” Fisk said. “But thanks to GSP, that’s kind of what got me here, if not, it wouldn’t have been economically feasible for me or my family to do.”
The pair has also followed different paths on campus. Although both participate in GUSA and sing in a cappella groups —Khan is in the Georgetown Phantoms and Fisk is in the Georgetown Saxatones — their other interests diverge.
Khan, currently the GUSA speaker of the senate, has served as chair of Interfaith and Service for the Muslim Student Association and performs in Rangila, among other activities.
Fisk, who serves as GUSA deputy of chief, co-chair of the GSP co-partnerships and as an Advocacy Board and Blue and Gray board member, said the GSP has been a strong motivating factor in becoming so involved.
“GSP was the first place I felt comfortable on campus, naturally,” Fisk said. “So [what] drove me to get more involved in student government and GSP and Blue and Gray and other things was the fact that I didn’t really see many other GSP students in those kind of organizations.”
Khan said she originally did not plan on getting involved in student government in college, but that her experiences at Georgetown forced her to find ways to get involved.
“And obviously I come here and I see issues with dining, I see issues with residential living. When you’re a freshman and when you’re with other freshmen, all freshmen seem to talk about is how Leo’s sucks,” Khan said. “I’m not someone who likes to complain. I like being able to do something when I see something wrong. I like finding solutions; I can’t sit still.”
GUSA Secretary for Campus Planning and Khan-Fisk Co-Director of Policy Ari Goldstein (COL ’18) said Khan and Fisk’s contrasts are what make them a strong team.
“Chris’ best skill in his many skills is in dealing with people. Enushe’s best skill in her many skills is in dealing with policy and thoughtful strategic planning,” Goldstein said. “So as speaker of the senate, she has been able to facilitate sometimes contentious conversations and to direct people and make sure they get their work done.”
GUSA Chief of Staff Abbey McNaughton (COL ’16) said Khan and Fisk together have a depth of policy knowledge.
“I think they’re a very strong combination of Enushe bringing this policy background, work experience in the senate and Chris bringing work within the executive, but they also both come from different parts of campus,” McNaughton said. “I know Chris is focused a lot on socio-economic issues. Enushe’s been involved in the arts, dining, campus planning, those things. I definitely trust that they have a good breadth of issue areas covered.”
Fisk said both he and Khan were initially apprehensive about running for the executive, but an off-the-cuff conversation brought the topic to the forefront.
“We came to the decision like well if you want to do it together we’ll do it, but if not, it’s okay,” Fisk said. “We knew we complemented each other very well. We had the same vision and kind of both saw the same problems in GUSA, and we said ‘Okay, we’ll do it if we do it together.’”
Khan said both she and Fisk identified GUSA’s exclusivity as being a problem on which GUSA needed to improve.
“GUSA in general needs to be more inclusive, and that was a big thing for Chris, and we just noticed that we had the same overarching ideas,” Khan said.
Inclusivity is a critical aspect of the Khan-Fisk ticket, from campaign organization to policy development. Khan said they developed policy with a bottom-up approach with the help of experienced students.
“We really had to think big,” Khan said. “We had to think what are the issue areas we want to address. Who are people who are very involved in those issue areas already? And then beyond that, it was getting the teams together.”
Fisk noted that this will be a change from previous campaigns, which have typically had one or two people develop each strand of the platform.
Inclusivity is a key aspect of the Khan-Fisk platform and toits slogan, “Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges,” particularly as it relates to GUSA’s interactions with student groups.
“There are very few select groups that GUSA has traditionally catered to, and that has kind of been the status quo as long as we’ve been here. So that’s the need to break the barriers,” Khan said.
Khan said the second component of the slogan, “Building Bridges,” is focused on empowering students. According to Khan, GUSA’s current structure of an executive and senate operating separately has made it challenging for students to get involved.
“What that means is that you have multiple students here on campus who care but have no means to get involved or to voice their concerns or to feel empowered,” Khan said. “They’re just sort of left out in the dark and they have nothing that they can do about it, and on top of that they don’t know what’s actually happening because they don’t see GUSA as a resource.”
Khan said this vision for inclusiveness is what gave her and Fisk the motivation to run.
“This was a matter of, ‘okay this is a big step, we’re going to do this if it’s the right vision and the right team and the right kind of intentions,’” Khan said. “And that’s sort of what made me think let’s do it, we’re going to run, together.”
An in-depth article about the Khan-Fisk platform will be published in the coming days as an online exclusive.
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