This is an updated story.
A potential ticket announced its intention to join the executive election ballot Jan. 23 after Georgetown University Student Association members Nicolo Ferretti (SFS ’21) and Bryce Badger (MSB ’21) officially launched their campaign for GUSA president and vice president Jan. 22.
Ferretti and Badger became eligible by attending one of the required information meetings held Jan. 16 and 18 by the GUSA Election Commission. Candidates can still enter the race by collecting and submitting 100 student signatures to the GUSA Election Commission by 11:59 p.m. on Jan. 25. Julio Salmeron-Perla (SFS ’22) and Gabrial Elliott Brault (SFS ’21) began gathering signatures to join the ballot as president and vice president Jan. 23. This year’s election will take place Feb. 6.
Salmeron-Perla and Elliott Brault started petitioning to avoid an uncontested race and represent more student perspectives, according to Elliott-Brault.
“We thought that it wasn’t fair that there was only one ticket. It wasn’t fair that not all student voices are represented in that ticket,” Elliott Brault said in an interview with The Hoya. “We don’t claim that we represent all student voices, but we want to expand the options that students have. We want to try to make sure as many students are heard as possible, and we think a one ticket ballot doesn’t do that.”
Salmeron-Perla previously served as a GUSA senator from October 2018 to April 2019, working as the vice chair of the Socioeconomic Advocacy Committee. Elliott Brault is the president of the United Feminists Club and mentors freshman in the Georgetown Scholars Program, and she formerly worked as Socioeconomic Advocacy Policy chair in the GUSA executive branch.
Ferretti and Badger welcome the challenge and hope to have a dialogue with other candidates, according to Harper Thomas (SFS ’22), director of communications for the Ferretti-Badger campaign.
“The Ferretti-Badger campaign strongly believes in campus discourse and encouraging a diversity of viewpoints, and we would look forward to engaging with other candidates for the GUSA executive,” Thomas wrote in a statement to The Hoya. “We believe that the Georgetown community deserves the best possible ticket for the GUSA executive, and will endeavor to be that ticket by providing a realistic, proactive, and inclusive platform for GUSA.”
Ferretti and Badger were the only pair to put up posters in Red Square alongside staff members at midnight Wednesday to officially start the campaigning period, per GUSA campaigning tradition. Four tickets, including current GUSA President Norman Francis (COL ’20) and Vice President Aleida Olvera (COL ’20), announced their candidacy at this event last year.
Ferretti and Badger will focus on four main policy areas during their campaign: sustainability, sexual assault and misconduct, facilities and inclusivity. As GUSA Executive, the pair can implement initiatives surrounding these issues, Ferretti said.
“I think I’ve kind of developed an understanding of the realistic pathways through which we can achieve change for the Georgetown community,” Ferretti said. “Advocacy and public service is kind of what I want to do with my life, and GUSA is kind of the best way to do that for my community here at Georgetown.”
Ferretti currently serves as the GUSA Executive’s director of university affairs and has worked with the university on accessibility, sustainability and technology policy. As executive director, Ferretti helped facilitate the university’s partnership with Capital Bikeshare and worked with the university to offer feedback on the revamped school webpage. He previously worked as a GUSA senator until he resigned to join the executive branch in spring 2018.
Ferretti and Badger will focus on being proactive and realistic and recognizing and embracing intersectionality, Badger said in an interview with The Hoya.
“These three core values are how we centered our entire campaign, and it is kind of like what we want students to know about us because that is how we are going to be attaching meaning to our administration — our policy points — and so we are really excited to launch that platform,” Badger said.
Badger currently serves as the chief of staff for the Francis and Olvera administration, and he also sat on the GUSA Senate during his freshman year. Badger also works as the GUSA representative on the SaxaFund board, a student fundraising program responsible for financing the Hoya Hub and other projects.
Badger also served as student engagement director for former GUSA President Sahil Nair (SFS ’19) and Vice President Naba Rahman (SFS ’19) when Elliott Brault served in the executive branch. In fall 2018, Badger and Elliot Brault, alongside Rahman and eight other executive cabinet members, resigned to put pressure on Nair to resign amid sexual assault allegations against him.
In past years, students have conveyed dissatisfaction with student government institutions. Days before the 2019 executive election, an Abolish GUSA movement emerged. Thirty-two percent of the student body voted in last year’s election, marking the lowest voter turnout since the 2007 executive race.
To engage the student body and instill faith in GUSA, the organization must work toward meaningful, achievable goals, according to Ferretti.
“Small wins are huge. I would like to have as many small wins as possible, things that students see,” Ferretti said. “Those small wins remind people that GUSA actually does something.”
Feasibility is an important facet of the Ferretti’s challengers’ campaign, according to Salemeron-Perla and Elliott Brault.
“We really want to focus on tangible goals for the student body, and given our background in GUSA, especially with a focus on socioeconomic advocacy, we believe that we are the appropriate people to do that,” Salemeron-Perla said in an interview with The Hoya.
The debates for vice presidential and presidential candidates are set for Thursday, Jan. 30, and Monday, Feb. 3.
Hoya staff writer Annalise Myre contributed reporting. This is a developing story.