Why We’re Not Running

A couple of opinion pieces have been published in The Hoya questioning why there are not more candidates in the executive race for the Georgetown University Student Association. Potential candidates take a long time contemplating a run for the executive. They question what they bring to the race, what policy issues they want to bring to the forefront for advocacy, if it is worth the time and effort to run a campaign and lead the executive, and what their team will look like. We know this because, as potential candidates ourselves, we debated these issues, among others, for quite a while. In the end, we all chose not to run.

While a few opinion pieces have been published demanding more tickets, none stopped to seriously contemplate why there are not more candidates.

Over the last year were we asked by friends, family and peers on campus: would we run? Yes. Were we encouraged to run? Yes. Did we consider running for GUSA? Yes. Did we choose to put our names on the ballot? No.

The decision to not be candidates varies for each of us, whether it be personal or professional reasons, or both. We all at one point seriously reflected on if running for GUSA was the right decision.

We still are confident we made the right decisions.

GUSA is too often talked about in a dangerous dichotomy: perceived as irrelevant, pretentious and powerless, or taken far too seriously as an institution that requires involved students to devote their entire lives to serving the student body while often losing touch with themselves. We as the student body don’t have to let this dichotomy persist. We have the ability to transform the status quo to create a GUSA that better represents and advocates for students, run by Hoyas who also can have lives outside of the GUSA office. This year represents a unique opportunity to achieve just that.

Team collaboration is a superior model to intense competition that needlessly divides the campus based on personalities. GUSA can better advocate for student interests when all communities on campus are stakeholders. That requires the institution to be open, easy to access and volunteer-centered rather than operating under an unpaid full-time job mindset for all GUSA staff and cabinet members. Larger teams can accomplish much more than a single person working full-time but alone.

We are excited to work with the next executive to push for major policy initiatives ranging from sexual assault reform to a better dining contract to GUSA restructuring. We are also excited to be students, loving life at Georgetown in the causes, clubs and commitments that are dear to our hearts, whether it be as an RA, tenor in the Gospel Choir or member of the board of College Republicans. We are eager to see a new GUSA that allows for both, which is emulated by the leadership at the top.

This election is an opportunity for everyone to come to the table and rethink the very foundation upon which GUSA is built. This is an opportunity to challenge the status quo and transform GUSA into a stronger advocacy body with Hoyas eager to work on big issues on campus, without sacrificing their entire lives.

We chose not to run for a variety of reasons, but we are choosing to be involved and engaged. You can too.

 

Alex Bobroske is a junior in the School of Foreign Service. Connor Maytnier is a junior in the College. Sam Granville is a junior in the College.  

 

 

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7 Comments

  1. Concerned Senior says:

    So basically, GUSA leaders have decided that the student body doesn’t deserve a choice and that GUSA insiders should band together to ensure they can enjoy their lives outside of GUSA by governing in a giant mass of groupthink rather than competing on ideas? I’m not saying that these guys shouldn’t be able to enjoy their lives or that GUSA should be an all-consuming affair, but those involved in serving the university community should think seriously about what these decisions have ensured. It certainly sounds like GUSA is resolving not to get much done this year – both because its leaders want to take this opportunity to reduce their involvement and because none of them seem to care much for policy differences; it’s all one big tent of lockstep identical policy now under The One True Ticket, including essentially every idea anyone in GUSA can come up with (as evidenced by the unprecedented length of the Chenushe platform). A coalition of everyone and every idea is useless and will accomplish nothing except add some lines on resumes and guarantee stagnation at a critical time in the University’s history.

  2. Lol you included everyone in GUSA in the campaign so now you’re going to tell us that you’re so diverse and inclusive? That’s not how representation works.

  3. Just A Chick says:

    In sum, important executive positions of student advocacy to the Georgetown bureaucracy are time-consuming undertakings. The three authors take issue with how their duty to the student body as GUSA executives would conflict with their personal lives.

    You were asked to run, encouraged to run, thought about running, but, ultimately, did not. You did not take up the challenge of a campaign because of your personal issues with the nature of the work.

    I assume, then, that you are once-aspirational GUSA insiders.

    Tragically, you all had the chance to pursue the executive positions and change the framework–which, you say, is fraught with stress and work–but, decided not to. Sure, this would have required work–perhaps a whole lot of work!–but, instead, you all indifferently shrugged off the opportunity to be the change you wanted to see in GUSA, so that you might be able to help when you have the time.

    Clearly, GUSA is more about the titles than the work, or else you would have capitalized on this campaign season to try to change the institution over waiting for change to come at your convenience. Students want to be represented by students who, shockingly, genuinely want to put in the effort for their peers. Not everybody has the opportunity to influence GUSA, but you all do. Or, you all did. And, now, GUSA will more than likely not change and you will have helped that to happen.

    It’s a shame that there aren’t many students in GUSA who care.

  4. Thank you for this riveting piece about why three students who I didn’t want to run for GUSA….decided not to run for GUSA! Who cares about these three? Where are the actual student leaders fighting for the rights of students every day? I’d rather hear why they decided not to run.

  5. This says it better than anything else I’ve read so far, including the endorsement in they put in the Academy.

    “The One True Ticket”

    The only way it gets elected is if ignorant freshmen who don’t know any better come and vote for the promises they were made but which won’t be fulfilled.

    Never before has a Chicken Madness ticket come so close to winning. It needs to be pushed over the top this year because a chance like this won’t come again soon.

  6. No One cares says:

    No one cares. Your life is very sad.

  7. Connor Maytnier says:

    Hi folks – many thanks for your positive and encouraging comments!

    Anyway, a few points –

    1) We never intended for this to be a riveting and ground-breaking piece – nor did we profess it to be such. Put simply, there was concern among students that having only one ticket on the ballot was a catastrophic situation. We felt differently.

    2) We thought it was important to voice:
    – that some of us considered running for GUSA quite seriously and, for a variety of reasons, determined that running for the executive was simply not right for us. In a setting where folks are often accused of launching campaigns to feed egos and grab at titles, I personally think it is a sign of progress that potential candidates are setting aside time to reflect on the possibility of running and ultimately deciding that it is not the right fit for them.

    – despite the presence of only one ticket, we are still optimistic about the future of GUSA and are excited to remain engaged throughout our senior year. We are prepared to commit ourselves to serving our fellow students and working to build a better Georgetown for the thousands of future students to come. We just happened to realize that being in the top two chairs wasn’t the right fit for us – and I think that’s ok.

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