In hopes of securing a win in today’s election, candidates for GUSA president and vice president have campaigned aggressively for two weeks to differentiate themselves in a seven-ticket field.
According to Georgetown University Student Association Election Commissioner Adam Giansiracusa(SFS ’12), this year’s election has been more contentious than those in the recent past. However, he said that the campaigns have generally been responsible and there have not yet been any violations that could be grounds for disqualification.
Voting in the elections opened at about 10 p.m. Wednesday and will run until midnight Thursday.
In their two-week campaigns, the tickets have generally followed similar strategies, using campaign websites, Facebook events and distinct logos.
Social media has been an integral part of how many tickets have solicited student support. GUSASenators Clara Gustafson (SFS ’13)and Vail Kohnert-Yount (SFS ’13) created more than 20 custom Facebook profile pictures promoting aspects of student life, like social justice and the arts. GUSAFund Chair Murphy Kate Delaney (COL ’13) and Michael Appau (COL ’13) photographed students across campus to create a series of images with their campaign slogan. These pictures were formatted for use as Facebook cover photos.
Gustafson and Kohnert-Yount held a town hall to take questions and suggestions about their campaign Sunday, posting real-time updates on their Twitter account.
GUSA Senator Daniel LaMagna (COL ’13) and men’s basketball player Markel Starks (COL ’14), who did not create a Twitter account or Facebook event, took a unique approach in their campaign. The ticket’s flyers are based on the “Keep Calm and Carry On” British propaganda posters created during World War II.
“People running tend to take themselves so seriously you’d think they’re campaigning for royal office,”LaMagna wrote in an email. “[The poster’s design is] just our way of reminding ourselves to keep things in perspective and not take ourselves too seriously.”
Each ticket has also taken a different approach to campaign videos. Delaney and Appau’s take on “Ni**as in Paris” had received over 1,000 more views on YouTube than any other ad by Wednesday night.
Other recent shorts include members of Georgetown Emergency Response Medical Services practicing with GUSA Director of Special Projects Tyler Sax (COL ’13) and Secretary of Information and Technology Michael Crouch (MSB ’13), “Sh*t Hoyas Say” by Senate Vice Speaker Nate Tisa (SFS’14) and Senator Sheila Walsh (COL ’14) and a parody of a Chrysler’s Clint Eastwood Super Bowl advertisement by Deputy Chief of Staff John Morris (COL ’13) and Lauren Weber (COL ’13), a member of THE HOYA’s board of directors.
While many candidates have released multiple videos, Tisa and Walsh limited themselves to a single one. According to Tisa, students are overwhelmed by campaign videos when platforms are available on the tickets’ websites.
“Differentiating ourselves from the ‘Anything you can do, I can do better’ mindset was the primary objective, since our reform message is already out in the open and easy enough to understand,” he wrote in an email.
Candidates have also fought to promote themselves in the limited advertising space offered in Red Square. After GUSA Finance and Appropriations Chair Colton Malkerson (COL ’13) and Director of Executive Outreach Maggie Cleary’s (COL ’14) American flag of flyers was defaced Saturday, the pair installed a three-dimensional Rubik’s cube detailing elements of their campaign platform in Red Square. Gustafson and Kohnert-Yount also spread their advertisements beyond the walls of Red Square, covering the plaza with chalk drawings of their campaign logo.
Barring any challenges or disqualifications, results of the election will be available early Friday morning.