With a focus on facilities issues, expanding dining options and improved representation for minority students, 21 students announced their candidacy for Georgetown University Student Association senate Wednesday ahead of next week’s election.
Fifteen candidates are running for seven positions in the Class of 2023 senate, one student is running unopposed for a vacant Class of 2020 position and five candidates are running for four at-large spots, according to a series of GUSA elections tweets announcing the initial round of candidates early Wednesday morning. Matthew Buckwald (COL ’20), former senator and transition finance and appropriations chair, resigned from the senate Aug. 30, creating a vacancy in the Class of 2020’s representation.
Charlie Wang (SFS ’22), who is running for an at-large seat, is among the candidates who launched their campaign Wednesday by hanging posters throughout campus.
Wang is running to ensure that students can provide direct suggestions and proposals on how to solve campus issues, he wrote in an email to The Hoya.
“I want to run for senate because I want to make sure students with all political perspectives, nationalities, backgrounds, and physiques can have their voices and concerns heard during the decision-making process of the school,” Want wrote.
The formal election campaigning period started Wednesday morning with the release of
the initial list of candidates. The official election is set for next Wednesday, Sept. 25, with a candidate town hall scheduled for Sept. 23 ahead of the election. A large gender imbalance characterized the fall 2018 senate elections results. Male students won all seven seats for the Class of 2022 and one female student, Hayley Grande (COL ’21), won an at-large seat.
Kwan Hopkins (COL ’23) also launched his campaign Wednesday for a freshman senate seat. Hopkins released a document outlining his platform, including plans to offer free feminine hygiene products in all-gender bathrooms, alongside his campaign announcement.
“My number one priority is guaranteeing feminine hygiene products are offered in Georgetown’s all-gendered bathrooms for free,” Hopkins wrote. “Secondly, we need more 24-hour dining options on campus. When we as a community identify problems on campus, we’re going to need bold leadership to enact real change. I believe I’m the candidate to do that.”
Prospective senators who are not officially registered to run still have until 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 20 to collect 100 undergraduate student signatures and petition to run for a seat, according to GUSA Election Commission Chair Justin Rich (SFS ’22).
Chris Ziac (COL ’22) also announced his campaign for the at-large seat Wednesday, hanging up flyers and posters in residential halls and public campus spaces. Ziac is focusing on improving facilities, socioeconomic advocacy and sustainability in his platform, his posters said.
“I want to know what issues students care most about so I know how I can make their lives better on campus,” Ziac wrote in an email to The Hoya. “Whether as a candidate or a Senator, I want the student body to know that my first priority will always be serving as an accessible advocate for their well-being.”
Lucy Sonsalla (SFS ’23) launched her campaign Wednesday for one of the seven seats open to the Class of 2023. Sonsalla is running a campaign based around residential life issues, she wrote in an email to The Hoya.
“I am running for senate in order to improve the quality of Georgetown’s residential life. Many of the problems at Georgetown were immediately obvious to me within days of arriving,” Sonsalla wrote. “I believe that by educating the student body on taking care of themselves and our facilities, we can improve health, lower stress, and boost morale across campus at minimal expenses.”
The freshman candidates currently running include Brandon Yusuf (MSB ’23), Leo Rassieur (COL ’23), Eric Bazail Eimil (SFS ’23), Zach Volpe (SFS ’23), Kelvin Doe (COL ’23), Eddie Galvan (MSB ’23), Eric Lipka (COL ’23), Tyler Bates (SFS ’23), Zumanah Mahmud (MSB ’23), Cyrus Morrell (COL ’23), Trey Di Bona (SFS ’23), Andy Serrano (COL ’23), Jair Pearsall (COL ’23), Sonsalla and Hopkins.
Juliana Arias (SFS ’20) is running unopposed for the Class of 2020 position.
Henry Dai (SFS ’22), Hal Rogers (COL ’22), Alexandra Mucher (COL ’22) and Ziac are all seeking at-large senate seats.