In its midterm evaluation of the GUSA Executive, the editorial board of The Hoya relies on a series of frail charges to push the narrative that the Mack-Andino administration has reneged on its campaign promises to focus on affordability, student health and entrepreneurship. Many of these charges crumble under scrutiny, while others are exposed as having been overplayed to detract from coverage of this administration’s several enduring accomplishments.

The board’s argument begins on the premise that this administration lacks “a cohesive vision,” weasel words thinly veiling a bias against Mack and Andino that pervades both the structure and the content of the editorial. This empty charge is an unfounded misrepresentation of the deliberate decision to specialize across issue areas in which they are each the most invested, and therefore most likely to make progress.

It is true that Mack and Andino have different priorities, but that is not the same thing as competing priorities. This administration has made real progress for students on issues important to both Mack and Andino, and to admit of progress on this diverse set of priorities while painting that as a liability rather than an asset is beyond blatant dishonesty: it’s an agenda.

 Affordability

That agenda is plainly exposed in the treatment of our success in affordability. The board wrote and recycled twice as many words on our discount card program as they wrote on all other affordability accomplishments. That would be a sensible ratio if we were lacking in such accomplishments, but we aren’t.

The board offers minimal coverage of our effort to increase food access through GUTS routes, but far worse is the treatment of our unpaid internship fund. The fund is not just another proposal; we’ve secured funding from the Office of Advancement, coordinated with the Career Center to ensure the viability of the program and worked closely with the administration to establish the staff and infrastructure to make the fund a reality, and make no mistake, it is a reality. Applications are open for the spring, and that is a real achievement that will support students pursuing necessarily unpaid internships in precisely the sectors that the editorial board encouraged Cawley to expand resources, enabling a greater diversity of career outcomes. The editorial board made the decision to ignore these facts and downplay the significance of the program.

 Mental Health

We have worked to relieve concerns about mental health resources and found success in increasing staffing for Counseling and Psychiatric Services and petitioning the university to support those that are not served through the CAPS treatment model but can’t afford off-campus services. Over 1000 students have expressed support through the petition released by this administration, and the program shows every indication that it will succeed. It takes Olympic-caliber mental gymnastics to recognize this administration’s successes in the area of student health while failing to account for those successes in the final evaluation. This issue was one third of Mack and Andino’s platform but less than 8% of the editorial. In fact, the board wrote more than twice as many words skewering the administration for our discount card program as it did evaluating our mental health accomplishments. If the board claims to hold the administration accountable for campaign promises, it should pay more attention to the issues that students voted for.

 Entrepreneurship

As if to complete the pattern, the board’s charges regarding Mack’s efforts on entrepreneurship are also shockingly out of touch. If the board had asked the entrepreneurial community on campus instead of writing on their scorecard in Leavey 421, they might see the strong impact of Mack’s entrepreneurial focus, including helping start Georgetown’s first student run accelerator among other victories in the effort to support student businesses. If the board seems not to understand entrepreneurship, here are the words of someone who does, Anthony Marshi, founder of Georgetown Ventures: “I was disappointed to see that [the editorial] said GUSA was not directly involved in [Georgetown Ventures’] creation because I feel otherwise. I would go as far as to say [Mack is] a cofounder… instrumental in helping us navigate through [the Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative] and building a leadership team.”

 Moving Past the Midterm

This administration will continue to advocate for students, adding to what we believe is an already impressive set of accomplishments that delivered on the promises that Mack and Andino made on the campaign trail. We hope that students will continue engaging with us, holding us accountable and using GUSA as a megaphone to advance affordability, health and opportunity for everyone on the Hilltop.

Brody Sloan is a junior in the School of Foreign Service and the chief of staff for the GUSA Executive.

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