Update: On Nov. 11, The Hoya’s executive editorial team rescinded The Hoya Editorial Board’s of the Camber Vincent (SFS ’24) and Alyssa Hirai (SFS ’24) Georgetown University Student Association (GUSA) Executive ticket. Read our Letter from the Editors explaining the rescission here.
Georgetown University Student Association (GUSA) executive elections are live, and student voters should pay close attention to the platforms of the three executive tickets on the ballot. Unlike last year’s race, this year’s election consists primarily of GUSA insiders.
The Editorial Board endorses Camber Vincent (SFS ’24) and Alyssa Hirai (SFS ’24) for GUSA president and vice president, as their platform can most effectively create a safer, more equitable and more supportive community. The Vincent-Hirai ticket’s extensive GUSA experience, detailed proposals to improve student dining and transportation options and track record of implementing real change within GUSA make their candidacy a promising prospect.
Full disclosure: Camber Vincent previously served on The Hoya’s Editorial Board in Fall 2021.
Upon taking office, they plan to increase overall engagement with GUSA through various efforts that improve communication and advocacy channels, from revamping the GUSA website to promoting collaboration between student academic councils.
Vincent said he and Hirai hope to create new forms of communication with the student body to increase GUSA’s transparency and accessibility.
“We’ve just started to get back a lot of channels of advocacy and communications — we just got back the GUSA newsletter, we are currently working on the GUSA website,” Vincent told The Hoya. “We want to keep this trend towards more engagement with the student body, more engagement with the community and make sure that we’re actually there to provide answers to questions.”
Additionally, Vincent and Hirai plan to improve transparency regarding administrative changes by creating accessible online briefing documents with detailed answers to frequently asked questions. Vincent pointed to topics that could be covered in these briefing documents, such as the residential consequences of the upcoming Henle Village project and the new School of Foreign Service South Asian Studies certificate.
The Editorial Board believes that these direct efforts toward improving transparency will relieve student confusion and apathy. Building a system that prioritizes communication and comprehension will also foster trust between the student body and GUSA.
The ticket also plans to prioritize initiatives that will save students money. Hirai said a particularly important goal for her is the reduction of the meal plan requirement, which she says is important to protecting first-generation and low-income students.
“One of my long-term projects is improving our meal plan, especially for upperclassmen — reducing the meal plan. These are all projects that affect every student on campus. These are issues that disproportionately affect first generation, low-income students,” Hirai said.
To the Editorial Board, this initiative is especially important because the meal plan requirement can cause significant financial strain; it costs a minimum of $3,340 for first- and second-year students, and a minimum of $3,060 for juniors. Reducing the requirement would offer students greater financial autonomy and mitigate the effects of socioeconomic inequality on campus.
While current GUSA executives Kole Wolfe (SFS ’24) and Zeke Ume-Ukeje (COL ’24) campaigned as “outsiders” to GUSA during their campaign last spring, Vincent and Hirai take the opposite approach, highlighting their experience in GUSA as a significant advantage.
Vincent said that his two years of experience in GUSA sets him apart from his competitors who have only served for one.
“Of the three, I’m the only one who has actually taken steps to achieve various platforms and various indications of success,” Vincent told The Hoya. “I’m the only one who’s actually met with administrators.”
Thanks to their experience in GUSA, Vincent and Hirai have established connections within the university administration and the wider community that they plan to leverage for the good of the entire student body.
The Wolfe-Ume-Ukeje administration was an interesting experiment in bringing outsiders to the forefront of Georgetown’s student government, but the Editorial Board believes that it is time to return to established, knowledgeable leaders. Vincent and Hirai’s relationships with the administration provide a groundwork for success in negotiating and implementing the changes they have promised.
Finally, with the Vincent-Hirai ticket and GUSA experience comes a well-needed element of pragmatism; Hirari told The Hoya they will focus their energies on propositions that they believe are achievable.
“I think a lot of students feel frustrated because when people campaign for GUSA, they always have a list of things that would be great if it could happen but we all know that it’s literally impossible,” Hirai said. “We have the knowledge to figure out what projects we actually can get done and really lean into those ones.”
For example, the duo said they hope to continue working toward offering students the Metro U- pass program currently under a trial period, a project years of student activism in the making, which Vincent said he has been actively working on.
Vincent and Hirai’s experience in GUSA and previous policy successes will help inform their decision-making and their approaches to the executive roles. Their campaign promises are realistic and pragmatic because they know what kinds of changes are within GUSA’s purview and its ability to collaborate with the university. The Metro U-Pass efforts demonstrate to the Editorial Board that Vincent and Hirai know how to prioritize actionable issues over glitzy campaign promises.
Vincent and Hirai’s competition, the Woodall-Caraiani and Achebe-Pasieka tickets, have similar aspirations for the executive office, but they offer less convincing evidence about how they will achieve their goals.
Spencer Woodall (MSB, SFS ’24) and Anya Caraini (SFS ’24) brand themselves as “the transparency ticket” and claim that their platform does not require administrative assistance, but their plans to target student food insecurity would require significant collaboration with university administrators. For example, the ticket hopes to institute a system in which students can share extra meal exchanges with others. However, to achieve meaningful change, the student body needs executives with established relationships with the university administration.
While Chijioke Achebe (SFS ’25) and Devon Pasieka (MSB ’25) emphasize GUSA accessibility to the student body, their platform lacks specific and actionable plans to achieve this goal. For example, Achebe told The Hoya he hopes to keep an eye out for students who may not have access to information on GUSA. However, neither he nor his running partner described specific plans on par with those named by Vincent and Hirai; as a result, their platform is significantly weaker.
Ultimately, experience, a strong track record and genuine commitment to the responsibilities of this position are the most convincing indicators of Vincent and Hirai’s prospective success as GUSA executives. To the Editorial Board, they demonstrate their dedication to the role by showing that they will not only enact thoughtful change upon assuming office, but that they’ve actually already begun. For a productive, accessible GUSA, vote Vincent and Hirai.
GUSA polls open Nov. 10 at 10 p.m. and close Nov. 12 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.