After a successful year of Joe Luther (COL ’16) and Connor Rohan’s (COL ’16) unconventional leadership, Enushe Khan (MSB ’17) and Chris Fisk’s (COL ’17) victory marks a return to a traditional, but reinvigorated Georgetown University Student Association. The pair has won the backing of students after demonstrating its experience, dedication and charisma; now the real work begins. Khan and Fisk must leverage the strength of their expansive platform and vision by prioritizing the policy areas concerning the 2017-2037 Campus Plan and GUSA restructuring.
The continuing negotiations of the 2017-2037 Campus Plan, the university’s new contract with the neighborhood, will define the future of student housing and neighborhood relations for the next two decades. The Luther-Rohan administration did well in this issue area by engaging the student body through the energetic “Let’s Not Get Screwed Again” campaign in April 2015, which increased representation on the Georgetown Community Partnership’s Steering Committee — a forum created with the 2010 Campus Plan to engage the neighborhood community in master planning — and paved the road for collaborative relations with off-campus neighbors. However, much of this momentum will be lost if Khan and Fisk do not tend to student engagement and continue to cultivate a formal relationship with Georgetown’s neighbors. Sustained student engagement is especially important if Khan will be absent this summer from her role in negotiating with neighbors the finalizing of the Campus Plan. The influence of the student body’s interest in this issue should not be tossed aside, and the new administration must take the necessary steps to launch a new campaign demonstrating the importance of these negotiations. To cultivate the relationship with the university’s neighbors, the recently elected president must keep her promise to travel to Washington, D.C., every Saturday to attend meetings with the Georgetown Community Partnership and coordinate with her cabinet members and new policy chairs to assume this responsibility during the week.
To call Khan and Fisk’s platform extensive is an understatement; a simple look through the pair’s campaign website will yield over 20 issue areas and elaborate policy proposals and solutions. The last thing this student body wants is an administration that is unable to realize these proposals and solutions because they are swamped by bureaucracy. The new leadership’s proposal to restructure GUSA by streamlining this bureaucracy is necessary for GUSA to focus on actual campus issues. The creation of policy teams is, therefore, especially important if the Khan-Fisk administration wants to effect change. As long as these policy teams are created based off a meritocratic system that ensures that those teams are composed of student representatives throughout Georgetown’s community who are battle-tested experts in their respective focus areas, the restructuring has great potential.
Khan and Fisk are qualified, but as with every newly elected GUSA executive, they must still earn the support of those who did not vote for them. To finally prove they will be successful, they need to exercise their strengths to prioritize the 2017-2037 Campus Plan and their proposed GUSA restructuring.
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