As their campaign showed us, incoming GUSA executives Trevor Tezel (SFS ’15) and Omika Jikaria(SFS ’15) have the ambition and the determination to enact positive change at Georgetown in the coming year.
Past GUSA administrations have chosen to focus on one or two goals early in their tenure before addressing all of their campaign promises. Thus, in the past, students have expressed dissatisfaction that some issues — notably free speech — have been sent to the back burner. That is why it was a refreshing change of pace in the campaign to see candidates who expressed their intent to make progress in more than one policy area at a time.
Tezel and Jikaria articulated goals in 19 specific areas, ranging from more versatility for GOCard usage to bolstered sanctions in the Code of Student Conduct for cases of sexual misconduct. The platform included what the executives would like to have accomplished during their first 100 days, as well as during next year’s fall and spring semesters.
However, the new GUSA administration will surely encounter unexpected obstacles in the pursuit of this agenda, some of which will inevitably require the pair to prioritize a few of these 19 issues over others. When it comes to changing policy that will affect the most number of students, we hope to see persistent progress specifically in the areas of sexual assault, free speech and equal access to student-group benefits. Other campaign topics benefit specific niche groups on campus, but these three issues are the ones that have both the potential to make an immediate impact on many students’ lives and that require the fervent advocacy of our elected student representatives.
While the other positions outlined in Tezel and Jikaria’s campaign show promise, it would be a regrettable frustration to see their entire agenda derailed in the pursuit of breadth rather than depth.
We should all be excited to see what Tezel and Jikaria have in store for Georgetown. The pair made it through a GUSA campaign unscarred — now they face the challenge of leading Georgetown’s student body for the next year. If their campaign expertise and stated priorities translate into action, we are confident that the two will succeed in the year to come.