Candidates Declare Bids For GUSA Senate Seats
Published: Friday, September 21, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 24, 2012 22:09
Students running for seats on the Georgetown University Student Association senate launched their week-long campaigns Wednesday afternoon.
Voting for the 27 open senate positions will take place on Sept. 27. Currently, 66 undergraduates are running, almost half of whom are vying to represent the two freshman-only districts. New South and Village C West have 14 candidates, and Harbin and Darnall have 18 candidates. Meanwhile, one student is running for two spots in the district that includes Henle, and three students are running for five positions in the off-campus district.
“Typically, the numbers we see actually are that freshmen vote in a much higher percentage than other classes,” Election Commissioner Ethan Chess (COL ’14) said.
Senate representatives come from 12 geographically organized districts throughout campus and four at-large seats. Each district has a proportionate number of senators to reflect the size of the population it is serving.
Since senate seats correspond to housing assignments, each candidate’s term lasts one academic year. Chess said incumbents are just as likely to face competition as newcomers, since they are typically running in a new district.
“Some incumbents go down; some incumbents don’t,” Chess said. “A lot of it has to do with geography.”
Senate Transition Chair Nate Tisa (SFS ’14) said he is looking forward to incorporating new members because of the diversity they will bring to the senate.
“We’re going to have more candidates than ever,” he said. “We’re hoping to get people from groups we really haven’t had in the past … which will bring … new connections and new experiences that we can really incorporate.”
Tisa, Chess and GUSA President Clara Gustafson (SFS ’13) agreed that excitement, commitment and motivation are the most important qualities for a senate candidate.
“[A senator should be] excited to advocate for the needs of the student body and can apply their experience elsewhere on campus to that advocacy,” Gustafson said.
Tisa gave similar advice to the candidates at their first interest meeting, held on Monday.
“You [senators] just have to put yourself out there,” he said. “In the election, but then every day after that, as well.”
Gustafson outlined goals that she and the GUSA Cabinet, hopes to tackle in the upcoming term. She singled out the implementation of the Student Life Report, Code of Student Conduct reform and short-term sustainability improvement as her top goals.
“These past three years, GUSA has kind of re-established itself as a legitimate body for change at this university,” she said. “But a lot of that came from financial reforms … and a lot of those financial reforms are now over and being started up. So seeing what the senate can do in terms of student life, intellectual life, et cetera. I think will be really great and will set the tone for a new path for GUSA.”
The Hoya interviewed GUSA senate election candidates to learn about their election strategies and favorite Leo’s dishes. For more coverage, visit thehoya.com.