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The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

New GUSA Leaders Show Passion for Path Ahead

MICHELLE XU/THE HOYA GUSA President Trevor Tezel (SFS ’15) and Vice President Omika Jikaria (SFS ’15)  reflect on their experiences and look forward to senior year.
GUSA President Trevor Tezel (SFS ’15) and Vice President Omika Jikaria (SFS ’15) reflect on their experiences and look forward to senior year.

After winning the GUSA executive election one month ago and being sworn into their positions last weekend, the work of Trevor Tezel (SFS ’15) and Omika Jikaria (SFS ’15) as president and vice president is just getting started. These rising seniors have changed a lot since they first stepped foot on the Hilltop and are eager to give back to the community that has given so much to them.


What are your strengths and weaknesses as leaders?

TEZEL: My strengths lie in knowing the issues, knowing who is the go-to for what, knowing what needs to get done and trying to set an example of ambitious, energetic leadership and thereby ambitious and energetic organization. I would definitely say that my biggest weakness would be [not] being able to use technology. I … try to surround myself with individuals … who actually know what they’re doing and can create a Google doc.

JIKARIA: I like to think that when I have a project to do, I can execute it and I’m pretty good at setting goals and being able to accomplish them. … My biggest weakness in terms of GUSA would have to be that I don’t have any GUSA experience.


How do you think you have each changed since freshman year?

TEZEL: [My background] is very much a beach town, kind of laid back, you know everyone just kind of doing their own thing, but also not talking about some[thing] really fascinating … and just some of these bigger conversations that I’ve been able to have at Georgetown, I think have helped make me … a more mature person, a more understanding person and I think above all else, have made me realize how little I know.


JIKARIA: I think I’ve learned what it really means to pursue what you love because I know that freshman year, people try to dabble in different things and all that, and I definitely did that, but I guess over time I learned what my true passions were and what it means to really pursue them.


What is your favorite memory from your time at Georgetown?

TEZEL: One of the reasons I came to Georgetown is because I was a really big politics nerd. … And I remember one of the first few weeks of freshman year, I got to go to an event where we had congresswoman — now senator — Tammy Baldwin speaking at a College Dems event. I remember being absolutely floored by it and talking to the president of the club afterwards and just being like, “That was so cool, thank you for bringing them,” and they said, “Oh well in a few weeks, we’ll have Dick Durbin coming, senator from Illinois,” and I just think at that moment I realized wow … I was at the right school.

JIKARIA: I’ve done Rangila for the past three years and it’s just an event where so many different people come together and dance for this great cause and learn about all this great, new cultural stuff and I think the best moment for me was when I was standing in the wings, getting ready to perform. I just had my first “Hoya Saxa” moment and it was November of my freshman year and it was just amazing.


What advice would you have for people who haven’t had their “Hoya Saxa” moment?

TEZEL: I would say that … if you’re looking for it, it won’t be there. I think that if you take the mentality to Georgetown that you want to go out and you want to try new things … if you are willing to go out of your comfort zone, you’ll find quickly that you have your “Hoya Saxa” moment.


JIKARIA: I’d definitely agree and I’d also say that it’s really important to try to figure out what your personal passions are and to do what you love. Because if you try to be someone that you’re not, or try to fit a certain mold, you’re never going to fit in. So it’s just important to know yourself.


What is your least favorite thing about Georgetown?

TEZEL: I’d say for me that it’s the increasing prevalence of a careerist mindset. As a school, I think one of the things our Jesuit identity brings is a kind of different perspective on education. … We need to be conscious of what our mission is as a university and be focusing on the students’ experience at Georgetown and not just creating a place where we can turn out good employees in a couple years.


What are you most looking forward to about senior year?

TEZEL: I mean there’s going to be other things, like I’m excited, obviously, for 99 days at Tombs and other … senior traditions, but on the whole, I just think we’ve both been presented with a really exciting opportunity that I don’t know we’ll ever be able to get again in our life … so I have to say that’ll be … the thing I’m most looking forward to next year.

JIKARIA: For me definitely, doing work through GUSA, because a lot of my extracurriculars are winding down, so I’m really excited to just channel a lot of my energy and passion into GUSA.



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