A Return to Real Issues
Published: Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, February 11, 2014 01:02
With Georgetown University Student Association executive elections set to start Feb. 13, a season of intense campus politics is about to dominate conversation across certain segments of the Hilltop. The passion of GUSA candidates and their campaign teams is clear through their constant presence in Red Square, but in the past, students with little involvement in GUSA have been more annoyed than inspired by this political fervor. Past GUSA elections have appealed to the passions of a narrow, principled group of people who are already thoroughly invested in their student government. GUSA should refocus its objectives to encourage even the most apathetic students to become involved in campus issues.
In the past, GUSA executive candidate platforms have centered on broad problems with campus life — free speech or student group funding, for example — rather than concrete solutions. Honing in on specific proposals would strengthen each candidate’s pitch and the level of debate of GUSA elections as a whole. For example, rather than reassuring the student body of their opposition to any potential satellite campus, candidates should try to offer a set of substantive suggestions to move more students on campus. Rather than hyping up an opponent’s shady associations or flaws, candidates should explain why they deserve to win.
GUSA politics are only valuable insofar as they unite and involve the whole campus community on certain issues. It would be hard to argue that the incessant door-knocking, excessive signage and empty posturing that have dominated past campaigns are among Georgetown’s best moments. Perhaps this year’s election could be different.