Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

EDITORIAL: Cobb, Mehta Create Georgetown for All

After a contentious election season with allegations of misconduct led to an annulled result, Jaden Cobb (CAS ’25) and Sanaa Mehta (SFS ’25) won a special election to lead the Georgetown University Student Association (GUSA) in October 2023. 

Full disclosure: Sanaa Mehta previously served as a columnist for The Hoya’s Opinion section in Spring 2023.

Cobb and Mehta were sworn in as president and vice president of GUSA Nov. 5, with the pair beginning their tenure at the start of the spring semester in January. Their platform focused on transforming Georgetown into a “Georgetown for all,” promising to prioritize inclusion and belonging in their executive agenda.

The Editorial Board applauds Cobb and Mehta for their efforts thus far. Cobb and Mehta have made tangible progress on some of their initial goals — from designating $30,000 for cultural organizations on campus to passing a referendum that encourages the university to establish gender-inclusive housing, the first referendum to pass since 2019. The Editorial Board encourages Cobb and Mehta to maintain this momentum during the second half of their term. 

Cobb and Mehta have shown particular tact in their ability to work within the GUSA bureaucracy to make their campaign promises a reality. Cobb expressed that implementing change starts with talking to student groups on the ground instead of thinking and acting entirely on their behalf. 

“We reached out to a lot of organizations because we don’t believe that we necessarily can speak for all the student organizations,” Cobb wrote to The Hoya. “We can be someone who talks to those student groups and advocates for them.”

This strategy reflects a sincere effort to make GUSA accessible and effective for the undergraduate student body. Moreover, Cobb said he and Mehta have remained committed to increasing the funds the university allocates to cultural organizations.

“When having those conversations, one of the biggest issues that came up with these cultural organizations was the need for more funding and the lack thereof,” Cobb told The Hoya. 

“We understand that cultural organizations have a unique place, different from other clubs and organizations on campus, as they create a sense of belonging and a sense of safety and security here at Georgetown,” Cobb added. 

Mehta said this fund will help marginalized students find community on campus. 

The GUSA senate initially allocated $15,000 to the diversity fund. Mehta and Cobb then spoke to the vice president of student affairs who agreed to match the senate’s contribution, bringing the fund’s total to $30,000. 

“It was important for us to establish a diversity fund because we are committed to helping marginalized communities and one of the ways we can help is through cultural organizations on campus,” Mehta wrote to The Hoya. 

Furthermore, Cobb and Mehta have advocated the LGBTQ+ community at Georgetown, including through the gender-inclusive housing referendum, which passed April 14. They collaborated with other student leaders to draft a referendum proposal, then successfully put the gender-inclusive housing referendum on students’ ballots. 

“We introduced a bill to the senate to get the referendum passed due to the administration not moving fast enough,” Cobb wrote to The Hoya. 

Beyond the public-facing efforts of the Cobb-Mehta executive, the two have been working behind the scenes to promote diversity within GUSA. 

“This year, we have the most diverse GUSA in years,” Cobb said. “We are majority people of color, which is surprising for GUSA, so that’s very exciting. We have a strong queer population.” 

“It’s just important when we do have some of these issues, like gender inclusive housing, to have those people who fit those identities to be in those conversations,” Cobb added. “I think that has been very helpful in getting things done.” 

However, Cobb and Mehta still have work to do to ensure students are aware of their administration’s achievements. Only 1,157 of Georgetown’s nearly 7,000 students voted in the special election which elevated the pair to the GUSA executive. Despite the inclusive housing referendum — which took place from April 11 to 13 — receiving more votes than any other referendum since 2019, it still only had a 31% voter turnout. Even after concerted advocacy from GUSA and student clubs, nearly 70% of undergraduates were not interested or able to make their voices heard. 

In their initial platform, which they released prior to the October election, Cobb and Mehta detailed plans to work on establishing a pre-orientation program for international students, reducing printing and laundry prices and creating meal plan rollover options, allowing for students with limited meal swipes to utilize unused swipes from previous weeks. They have yet to bring these plans to fruition. 

The Editorial Board encourages the Cobb-Mehta team to continue working on these projects while maintaining transparency with the Georgetown student body and working to boost student engagement with GUSA. For students to feel confident in and engaged with GUSA, they must know what is going on within Georgetown’s student government, both big and small.

The Cobb-Mehta agenda is admirable — as is the attitude they bring to the job. Cobb has demonstrated commendable seriousness and care in his commitment to the role. 

“This job is not for the weak,” Cobb said. “This is a full-time job. It’s a lot, but it is what I signed up for. The position holds a good amount of weight that allows for things to get done if the right people are in office.”

“We are down for the fight,” Cobb added. 

If Cobb and Mehta maintain the level of enthusiasm and ambition they brought to their first five months leading GUSA, the Editorial Board is confident that current and future students will feel the impact of their efforts to create a Georgetown for all. 

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.

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