The GUSA presidential campaign kicked off at midnight Thursday, beginning a five-way race lasting two weeks.
On Feb. 24, the student body will have 24 hours to vote for the next Georgetown University Student Association president and vice president, following a campaign period that will include a debate among presidential candidates.
The following pairs submitted their candidacy this weekend for the respective positions of president and vice president: Ace Factor (COL ’12) and James Pickens (COL ’12); Jed Feiman (COL ’12) and Henry Sims (COL ’12); Charlie Joyce (COL ’12) and Paige Lovejoy (SFS ’12); Kristie Kalenka (MSB ’12) and Jared Coppotelli (MSB ’12); and Mike Meaney (SFS ’12) and Greg Laverriere (COL ’12).
In a statement to The Hoya, Factor, a former GUSA senator, said he and Pickens’ aims were threefold: to create a student advocacy office to inform students of their rights; to boost community service efforts among students and Jesuits; and to increase GUSA’s transparency.
“We hope by campaigning and pushing these issues to bring GUSA back to its intended purpose: to represent student interests here on the Hilltop,” Factor said.
Feiman, who is vice president of the College Academic Council, is running with Sims, the center on the men’s basketball team. Feiman said his ticket hopes to bring a unique perspective to the table.
“Henry and I are two student leaders from very different areas in the Georgetown community, and we’ve come together to unite the campus,” Feiman said. “Our opponents remind us … of the same GUSA candidates year after year, and we think we offer something new.”
Citing his experience in GUSA, Joyce, a current member of the GUSA executive cabinet, said he would work to cut down on red tape and enhance student life.
“My time in GUSA has given me a thorough understanding of relationships between students, the administration, and the community,” Joyce said. “Over time, I have realized that there are many areas where policy and processes at Georgetown should be streamlined. I will help make student life at Georgetown easier, so that students can focus on their academic and extra-curricular endeavors without distraction.”
Kalenka and Coppotelli, both former high school class presidents, said safety and space would be the central issues of their campaign.
“We want to further improve what GUSA has already done. We would like to improve campus safety, and find the best way to utilize all the buildings on campus to maximize student group space,” Kalenka said.
Meaney, who is GUSA’s deputy chief of staff, said he looked to capitalize on his experience in the GUSA executive staff combined with Laverriere’s time in the senate; Laverriere is the current chair of the Finance and Appropriations Committee.
“Georgetown students need representatives who think creatively and will work hard to implement solutions to fix the many issues facing students,” Meaney said. “Through my experience with the executive and Greg’s in the senate, as well as our involvement outside of GUSA, we have a proving record of making innovative ideas become reality. We want to take these skills to the next level so we can continuing serving our fellow students.”
Director of Student Programs Erika Cohen-Derr attended the two informational sessions held this weekend for candidates and spoke to the novelty of this particular race, which will elect the successors to Calen Angert (MSB ’11) and Jason Kluger (MSB ’11); the two have been at the helm of GUSA for two years.
“I am looking forward to the chance for another generation of students to continue the work of thoughtful advocacy that Calen and Jason have focused on for the last two years,” Cohen-Derr said. “GUSA provides a very important mechanism to involve students in the governance of the university — the campaign season is a perfect opportunity for the student body to learn how each set of prospective executive teams would best represent their interests and prioritize their needs.”
This campaign season, candidates are required to present a prospective budget for their year in office. The budget would include the expenses for GUSA Senate, the executive committee and any programs the candidates propose.
Campaigners are limited to a $300 budget and 150 fliers that can be posted in public spaces at any given time. The commission said that candidates may campaign door to door and residents can agree to post fliers on their own doors. According to Election Commissioner Adam Giansiracusa (SFS ’12), candidates may also post in residence halls under separate policies. At press time, two of the campaigning pairs — Joyce-Lovejoy and Meaney-Laverriere — had launched websites outlining their platforms.
Kluger declared his support for Meaney and Lavierierre this morning, citing their experience and detailed platform.
“[Calen and I] both officially support Mike and Greg. By far they are the most experienced candidates. …We’re both on board for them.”
Angert, the outgoing president, said he was excited to see the election process begin.
“Jason and I have had a great run, but now it’s time for someone else to take the reins,” Angert said. “It’s bittersweet — I’ve enjoyed my time, but I’m ready to have more of my own time to pursue other interests.”