ELLA WAN FOR THE HOYA Kamar Mack (COL ’19) and Jessica Andino (COL ’18) won yesterday’s Georgetown University Student Association executive election by a narrow margin of 34 votes over Garet Williams (COL ’18) and Habon Ali (COL ’18).
ELLA WAN FOR THE HOYA
Kamar Mack (COL ’19) and Jessica Andino (COL ’18) won yesterday’s Georgetown University Student Association executive election by a narrow margin of 34 votes over Garet Williams (COL ’18) and Habon Ali (COL ’18).

Kamar Mack (COL ’19) and Jessica Andino (COL ’18) won the Georgetown University Student Association election early this morning, narrowly defeating Garet Williams (COL ’18) and Habon Ali (COL ’18) by 34 votes, the closest margin in recent electoral history.

Mack and Andino received 50.74 percent — 1,160 votes — in the final round, with Williams and Ali receiving 49.26 percent — 1,126 votes.

The Mack-Andino ticket, which ran with the vision of “A Fresh GUSA,” focused on making a Georgetown education more affordable, improving mental health resources and spurring entrepreneurship on campus.

Both Mack and Andino joined GUSA two semesters ago in the spring of 2016. Mack was the only sophomore candidate in a race of three other junior presidential candidates.

Mack currently serves as secretary of Local Education Affairs within the Federal Relations Committee while Andino is the chair of the Undocumented Student Policy Team.

Upon hearing the result, Mack and his campaign headed to the White House after a short celebration in Ryan Hall and Freedom Hall.

At Monday evening’s GUSA presidential debate, John Matthews (COL ’18) and Nick Matz (COL ’18) announced their ticket and Mack-Andino had cross-endorsed one another. Matthews and Matz were eliminated in the third round of voting last night, after earning 686 votes.

The election was competitive through all four rounds of voting, with Williams and Ali leading through the first three rounds of voting. The Williams-Ali ticket led with 958 votes, followed by Mack and Andino with 829 votes at the end of the third round.

Jenny Franke (COL ’18) and Jack McGuire (COL ’18), who did not participate in either of the GUSA debates and did not have an official platform, were the first official ticket to be eliminated with 94 votes. Williams and Ali led with 929 votes, followed by Mack and Andino with 808 votes and Matthews and Matz with 658 votes.

Thirty-eight percent of the student body voted in the election, with a voter turnout of 2,557 votes cast, surpassing the 2,388 votes in 2016. The all-time election record is 3,733 voters from the 2013 election.

Mack said he is ready to start working as GUSA president after a challenging campaign.

“I’m feeling really good. We’ve gone through a lot as a team. We’ve faced a lot of challenges but we came out on top and it feels good,” Mack said. “There’s a lot we have to do. The work starts now.”

Current GUSA President Enushe Khan (MSB ’17) said Mack and Andino’s policy has the potential to create real change at Georgetown.

“The three major campaigns ran bearing in mind a lot of policy, and changes they wanted, and regardless whatever happens next is going to be exciting,” Khan said. “Kamar and Jessica have some really cool ideas on student health in particular, and I hope to come back as an alum and see some of the things they’re proposing be implemented.”

Ali said despite her ticket’s loss, the inclusive message of their ticket will have a lasting impact.

“I tell to every single person who voted for us, ‘Don’t forget what you wanted, you believed in that message, going to every community that you come from and really making that difference,’” Ali said. “It’s about grassroots work and it’s really putting that effort in from the start.”

The polls opened at 11 p.m. Wednesday, following two weeks of campaigning starting Feb. 9. The campaign season was marked by GUSA outsider candidates in Matthews and Matz and a focus on affordability issues at Georgetown.

The Hoya conducted a door-to-door poll of 535 students Tuesday evening, with Williams and Ali holding a 13.8 percent lead over Mack and Andino. 42.2 percent of likely voters said they planned to vote for Williams and Ali, followed by 28.4 percent saying they planned to vote for Mack and Andino.

Matthews said he is happy for Mack and Andino, especially in light of the tickets’ cross-endorsement.

“Our cross-endorsement worked,” Matthews said. “Great to see they came out on top.”

The GUSA election commission hand-counted all votes after the license for the software they used expired. However, according to GUSA Election Commissioner Grady Willard (COL ’18), the election proceeded normally.

“Write-ins always affect the procedure, it’s so much easier to count without them. It always takes more time, but there wasn’t anything unusual about write-ins,” Willard said.

According to current GUSA Vice President Chris Fisk (COL ’17), he and Khan are committed to a smooth transition between executive leadership.

“Regardless of who would have won tonight, Enushe and I are going to spend the next month doing our very best to prepare them to take on the role for the next year,” Fisk said.

Looking forward to the next year, Mack said he hopes his and Andino’s vision for GUSA can bring the university together.

“We want to make everyone feel like they’re welcome,” Mack said. “We want to bring resources for all. We want to deliver on what we’ve been talking about and rally the people around our vision.”

Hoya Staff Writers Jeff Cirillo, Joe Egler, Ben Goodman, Yasmine Salam and Marina Tian contributed to reporting.

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2 Comments

  1. The Real SFS 2016 says:

    Congratulations Mack!

    As for Williams/Ali, you have only yourselves and Enushe + Chris to blame. You probably lost 34 votes with that stunt she pulled at the the debate (not to mention Chris’s extended commentary at the VP debate). What probably worked against you too were those stupid Heckler questions at the VP debate. If GUSA can’t take itself seriously then other people won’t either.

    You were also the insider candidates and instead of caring about affordability which you never addressed until the very last minute after the other two tickets had made it a priority from the beginning you actually said the administration deserved to be “applauded” in regards to tuition despite the fact it keeps going up and up and up.

    Crenushe’s botching of the referendum and not doing anything substantial during their term and also defending the administration for tuition increases and calling the campus plan which imposed a three-year housing requirement as a “success” caused a lot of anger toward GUSA which affected you.

    But you also didn’t have anything innovative in your platform and your identity politics hurt you because it was obvious you wouldn’t unite the campus. You kept complaining about “straight white men” and Habon couldn’t muster any valid reason to vote for your ticket during the VP debate except that she’s a refugee and Muslim. Mack played the diversity card too but he wasn’t alienating the way you two were and he actually said some nice things about white people and has been more of a uniter than a divider in regards to identity politics.

    Perhaps GUSA will get better now that we have some new blood in-charge who actually appear to care more about fighting for student interests than being the administration’s representative to students.

    Mack, remember, your job isn’t to be friends with the administration. If you’re like the current GUSA and care more about getting invited to events and letters of recommendation from the administration you will be a poor president. Instead, fight for student interests, call them out when appropriate, and do everything you can to lower costs and return power back to the studentry. You’re a tech guy, so set up a way where students can allocate 50% or more of their student activities fee to the clubs of their choice. It’s easy, but bureaucrats in GUSA would rather have that power to themselves.

    And implement some of the Matthews/Matz proposals. The fact is you YOU WOULD NOT HAVE WON had this been a race b/w you and Williams alone. They rallied their supporters to you with the cross-endorsement and made affordability the main issue. If anything, this race tipped when Matthew’s called out Enushe and destroyed her during the debate after the stunt she pulled to help Garet. It’s fair to say you owe them and their supporters the election because they made up the difference. So remember their issues and concerns.

    Good luck with the new administration. You can’t be any worse than the last one.

  2. Did you guys use Ranked-Choice-Voting in your poll? If not, that explains a lot.

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