Georgetown University Student Association (GUSA) President Camber Vincent (SFS ’24) and Vice President Alyssa Hirai (SFS ’24) took office following a competitive election in November 2022.
After originally endorsing the two candidates, The Hoya’s fall 2022 Editorial Board issued a rescission of its endorsement, citing Hirai’s attendance of a social event run by the Network of enlightened Women, a conservative organization on campus that hosted a speaker with a history of transphobia.
Despite a tumultuous start, though, the Editorial Board commends the first half of the Vincent-Hirai administration’s term. It has met a number of its campaign promises — including spearheading an initiative to run campus transportation on weekends — and has shown a genuine willingness to support student needs and voices. The Editorial Board encourages the executives to continue their work on initiatives that are important to the student body and keep improving GUSA’s accessibility and transparency.
One of Vincent and Hirai’s original campaign promises was to improve transportation options on campus.
After multiple semesters of student calls for weekend Georgetown University Transportation Shuttle services, Vincent and Hirai effectively led the initiative to offer free weekend bus services to university students, staff and faculty. This change allows students to more easily and affordably travel around Washington, D.C., and to surrounding areas.
Vincent and Hirai coordinated with several university officials, including Vice President of Planning, Facilities Management and Corporate Partnerships Lori Baldwin and Provost Robert Groves, to make the change a reality for students, an initiative that has been resoundingly praised.
Vincent said he feels this is one of the most prominent achievements of his administration.
“I like to highlight that one just because I think that it directly impacts students’ daily lives the most out of the work I’ve been able to do, which is one of the things that the student association struggles with a lot,” Vincent told The Hoya in an interview.
Another central promise of the Vincent-Hirai campaign was updating the GUSA website to increase engagement and transparency. While the update is ongoing, they hope to have it ready by the fall.
“We can finally transition to doing the website and hopefully get it a lot more robust over the next month and a half,” Vincent said.
Vincent and Hirai also finalized the Collegiate Readership Program, which provides free access to The New York Times and The Washington Post to students. The previous administration, run by former GUSA President Kole Wolfe (SFS ’24) and former Vice President Zeke Ume-Ukeje (CAS ’24), began this initiative, and Vincent and Hirai saw it to fruition.
Students have reported that access to these national publications has allowed them to access information from well-known sources without a cost barrier — something that is important for both their academic and personal development.
Overall, the executives’ work demonstrates a strong commitment to supporting and advocating for students. Nevertheless, there is still more work to be done in the second half of their term.
A key promise in their initial campaign — the reduction of the meal plan requirement, particularly to help first-generation and low-income students — has yet to be fulfilled.
Moreover, they must continue to prioritize the overhaul of the GUSA website. Many important sections, especially on their “Policy Initiatives” page, which shows an error page when any of its links are selected, remain incomplete or completely empty, making their promises of accessibility, as of yet, unrealized.
Along with these promises, Vincent and Hirai cited plans to continue working with the university in its development of two new academic programs — one with the Georgetown Earth Commons Institute, which focuses on sustainability and environmental research, and another with the McCourt School of Public Policy — that will have undergraduates living at the Capitol Campus in Washington, D.C., during their junior and senior years.
Student accessibility and advocacy have guided this administration’s term. The Editorial Board applauds this focus and encourages the administration to continue its work in the coming semester to ensure Georgetown serves students as best as it can.
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.
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