Georgetown University Student Association members Nicolo Ferretti (SFS ’21) and Bryce Badger (MSB ’21) officially launched their campaign for GUSA president and vice president, making them the only ticket currently running for GUSA executive as of 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. However, 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. No such petitions have been submitted as of Jan. 21, according to Election Commissioner Kareeda Kabir (COL ’20). This year’s election will take place Feb. 6.
As the only announced ticket, 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 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, recognizing and embracing intersectionality, and owning their viewpoints, 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 bankrolling the Hoya Hub and other projects.
Badger also previously served as the student engagement director for former GUSA President Sahil Nair (SFS ’19) and Vice President Naba Rahman (SFS ’19). In fall 2018, Badger, alongside Rahman and nine 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.”
Although Francis acknowledged Ferretti’s and Badger’s positive contributions to the GUSA executive, he did not issue an endorsement at the campaign kickoff.
“I think Bryce has been a powerhouse organizationally. He has done a lot of great work, especially being on top of things, and really great when it comes to management and working with folks and trying to follow up on deadlines,” Francis said. “Nico has done a wonderful job, especially when it comes to work with administrators and facilities and transportation issues.”
The ticket is currently unopposed; however, Ferretti and Badger will run their campaign as if they are facing competition, Badger said.
“We believe that this is a full-year commitment, and this campaign is also a commitment, so we are ringing the same energy, the same level of dedication and the same passion as we would if there were other candidates out here,” Badger said. “At the end of the day, it is proving to the school that we care and we want to make better change on campus.”
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.