Over the past two weeks, various student groups and individuals have pledged their support to one of the five campaigns in the Georgetown University Student Association executive election.
This year, fourteen clubs endorsed particular candidates, while the majority of endorsements came from individuals. Last year, nine student groups endorsed, and in the 2013 election, 15 groups did so. For the past two years, the current GUSA president and vice presidents declined to endorse any ticket.
Joe Luther (COL ’16) and Connor Rohan (COL ’16) have picked up endorsements from the editorial boards of The Hoya, The Georgetown Voice, The Georgetown Heckler and the Georgetown Improv Association. Luther and Rohan are the editor-in-chief and managing editor, respectively, of The Georgetown Heckler and both are members of the Improv Association.
“Do not take their seemingly facetious platform lightly,” The Hoya editorial board wrote. “Behind the humor lies a thoughtful agenda committed to mental health reform, transparency and student-community engagement.”
Sara Margolis (COL ’16) and Ryan Shymansky (COL ’16) received a lengthy list of personal endorsements that included GUSA senators, the Secretary of the Arts Caleb Lewis (COL ’16), ANC Commissioners Reed Howard (SFS ’17) and Kendyl Clausen (SFS ’16), and J Street U Co-President Molly Wartenberg (SFS ’16).
Another one of their endorsers is Nora West (SFS ’15), GUSA secretary of health and student safety.
“In my role with GUSA and as a sexual assault peer educator I have worked a great deal with survivors and sexual assault education programs,” West said. “Reading Sara and Ryan’s platform and seeing their commitment to proactive risk reduction and reactive survivor support showed me that they understood the issue and were committed to changing the campus climate.”
Abbey McNaughton (COL ’16) and Will Simons (COL ’16) have garnered 85 individual endorsements as well, including a large number of GUSA senators and committee chairs, four club sports teams, President of the Black Pre-Law Association Queen Adesuyi (COL ’16) President of College Democrats, Matt Gregory (SFS ’17) and President of College Republicans, Amber Athey (COL ’16). They also received eight endorsements from student groups, the most of any candidate. Groups include Club Hockey, Hoyas for Immigrant Rights and H*yas for Choice. McNaughton and Simons also received an “A” grade from H*yas for Choice in their sexual health questionnaire, the highest of any campaign.
One of their other supporters is Megan Murday (SFS ’15), a GUSA deputy chief of staff and president of the School of Foreign Service Academic Council.
“I spent much of this year engaging in master planning discussions and lobbying for student priorities,” Murday said. “Abbey and Will are the only ticket that have both the background knowledge necessary to seamlessly continue advocating for student interests and the ability to build the administrative relationships necessary to earn respect and be taken seriously.”
Tim Rosenberger (COL ’16) and Reno Varghese (SFS ’16) received endorsements from both GUPride, of which Rosenberger is secretary, and the Georgetown Israel Alliance.
“He has been a visible LGBTQ member of a number of more mainstream campus organizations, never once denying the salience of his identity for the sake of fitting in,” GUPride said in a statement. “No one has gone to greater lengths than Tim and Reno to understand our history, issues and realities.”
The GIA, whose original proposal sent to candidates asked them to oppose Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions on Israel, caused controversy after four tickets agreed to the original proposal and subsequently reneged. Reno and Varghese signed GIA’s revised proposal that encourages campus-wide discussion and does not mention BDS, receiving the group’s endorsement.
“Tim and Reno have been a consistent force for dialogue and unity at Georgetown,” the group wrote in a statement. “We’re proud to announce their affirmation of our statement in the name of creating a safe space for Georgetown students to engage in constructive discussion around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
Chris Wadibia (COL ’16) and Meredith Cheney (COL ’16) did not respond to multiple requests for comment about their specific endorsements. Their Facebook page includes an album called “Proud Supporters of the Movement,” and includes photos of 35 individual supporters, including Helen Brosnan (COL ’16) and Kendall Ciesemier (COL ’16), founders of campus women’s conference OWN IT, Lecture Fund Chair Marcus Stromeyer (COL ’15) and Georgetown basketball player Josh Smith (COL ’15). Ciesemier, Brosnan, Stromeyer, Wadibia and Cheney are all members of the Lecture Fund, and the ticket received individual endorsements from multiple Lecture Fund members.
“We are supporting Meredith because we believe that the campus needs a strong woman leading our campus,” Brosnan and Ciesemier wrote in their endorsement. “She is an ideal role model for underclassmen and is a source of constant optimism – something we can all learn from. Meredith owns it at all times!”