Amid calls to end legacy admissions, hate crimes on campus and an onslaught of rising university costs, the annual Georgetown University Student Association (GUSA) executive election rears its three-pronged head.
Bringing an array of attainable — though admittedly ambitious — policy proposals, the Editorial Board endorses Jaden Cobb (CAS ’25) and Sanaa Mehta (SFS ’25) for GUSA president and vice president.
Full disclosure: Sanaa Mehta previously served as a columnist for The Hoya’s Opinion section in spring 2023.
The Cobb-Mehta ticket offers a personable touch to student politics, viewing the executive position as an avenue for Georgetown-wide change, not personal advancement.
“We want the job — not the title,” Mehta said to The Hoya.
There are two tickets opposing Cobb and Mehta: Axel Abrica (CAS ’25) and Sebastian Cardena (CAS ’26), the self-declared “people’s ticket,” and the campaign of Saatvik Sunkavalli (SFS ’25) and Andrea Li (SFS ’26) that fell short; both resoundingly failed to meet the high standard set by the Cobb-Mehta ticket.
Cobb and Mehta’s detailed platform speaks for itself. Their eight-page working paper is broken down into four sections: wellness, belonging, advocacy and campus life.
A central part of their platform is their direct call to reform Georgetown’s Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS). If elected, they would fight to expand CAPS’ staff of “qualified, diverse professionals to provide students with timely, quality care,” per their working paper. This would include the hiring of Black, queer and trauma-informed therapists.
Moreover, the Cobb-Mehta campaign offers a practical solution to students’ meal plan woes. They aim to continue the development of a rollover plan for unused meal swipes to ensure that students receive the full value of their meal plan.
Away from the campaign, Cobb and Mehta have proven to be valuable and active community members.
As the diversity, equity and inclusion director for GUSA, Cobb has fiercely advocated for marginalized communities on campus.
Standing behind LaHannah Giles (CAS ’23) almost every day of the Healy Hall sit-in, protesting the university’s handling of their hate crime investigation, Cobb was an integral part of their fight for justice.
This year, Cobb served as the lead student organizer of Georgetown’s first Slavery Remembrance Day and spearheaded the successful project to found a Black affinity space on campus.
The impact of Cobb’s efforts cannot be understated.
Mehta perfectly complements Cobb. After meeting during their First-Year Orientation to Community Involvement program, Mehta embarked on a different yet equally impactful path to advocacy.
From coordinating Rangila and founding Georgetown’s Jain Student Association to acting as a peer advisor in the Cawley Career Center and a tour guide with Blue & Gray, Mehta is no stranger to community engagement.
Although the Editorial Board worries about the extent of Mehta’s numerous on-campus time commitments, the Board is confident that she will prioritize the responsibilities of the vice presidency.
Mehta and Cobb will specifically focus on communicating with the student body throughout their tenure if elected. By holding open office hours, utilizing social media and talking with club leadership, Mehta and Cobb will ensure that students are aware of their proposals.
Their most ambitious yet vulnerable initiative is their plan to “push the university to offer free tuition to any individual or family that is making less than $89,490,” the cost of tuition at Georgetown for the 2023-24 academic year.
Although a hefty expense, Cobb and Mehta believe that this directive will make the university more accessible for first-generation, low-income students.
As all candidates outlined their appropriations plans, a looming question emerged: how funds would be allocated to achieve their goals.
For the Abrica-Cardena ticket, these priorities include free laundry on campus, institutionalizing weekend Georgetown University Transportation Shuttle bus services and expanding on-campus resources post-Roe v. Wade and post-affirmative action. These action items all overlap with the Cobb-Mehta platform.
The Sunkavalli-Li ticket did not have a published platform at the time of the interview. The Editorial Board was unimpressed by this unpreparedness.
When pressed by The Hoya on how they would finance such ambitious plans, all tickets, aside from Cobb and Mehta, failed to communicate any tangible solutions.
Cobb and Mehta cited working to increase graduate donations as a feasible measure to fund their campaign aspirations.
“Alumni love to donate to Georgetown, they love to interact with students. Best believe Jaden Cobb and Sanaa Mehta are going to go talk to alumni and make sure they know that there are students who are struggling,” Cobb said to The Hoya.
Cobb and Mehta’s dedication to reforming GUSA as an institution is palpable.
“GUSA as it is now, personally, is not built for people like me. It is not built for first-generation college students. It is not built for low-income students. And quite frankly, it isn’t built for students of color,” Cobb said.
In addition to making GUSA more accessible for historically marginalized communities, the Cobb-Mehta ticket will look to implement a horizontal command structure in which members don’t feel limited by useless hierarchy. They aim to speed up the change-making process, a crucial step in restoring faith in student government.
Upon careful review of all candidates, there is no question that Cobb and Mehta are the most qualified candidates and would be most successful as GUSA president and vice president. The Editorial Board unequivocally endorses the Cobb-Mehta ticket.
GUSA polls open Oct. 5 at 10 p.m. and close Oct. 7 at 10 p.m.
The Hoya’s Editorial Board is composed of six students and is chaired by the opinion editors. Editorials reflect only the beliefs of a majority of the board and are not representative of The Hoya or any individual member of the board.