Jaden Cobb (CAS ’25) and Sanaa Mehta (SFS ’25), who are running for Georgetown University Student Association (GUSA) president and vice president, say if elected, they plan to use their backgrounds in GUSA and as club leaders to make GUSA more inclusive and equitable for all students.
The Hoya sat down with Cobb, who currently serves as GUSA’s director of inclusion and equity, and Mehta to discuss their campaign and prospective plans. Voting opens Oct. 5 and closes Oct. 7.
Why are you running for GUSA?
Mehta: I know what Georgetown feels like when it’s not like home. For me, the first thing that felt like home was community, people, clubs. Having spoken to Jaden as well, we very much agree on being middle-people between all the administration work, student clubs, student resources and then also just the student body and the sheer diversity that is within Georgetown.
Cobb: Right now, in this time period, post-Roe v. Wade, post-affirmative action and post everything that’s going on in life, and then when I started college, post-George Floyd, I think it’s a time for activism to be brought back to this campus. Activism for each other, activism as we’re one big family at Georgetown. I think that activism when it comes to us, and making sure that we put the family and the love of each other back into Georgetown is very important. And I’ve tried to really do that throughout my life in my time here at Georgetown.
Even though “president” doesn’t necessarily excite me, I wouldn’t ever see myself doing this, it’s the job that it comes with, to be able to help people no matter their background, no matter their identities, and make sure that we truly create a Georgetown for all.
If elected, what are your top priorities?
Cobb: We really want to do things that are not just optimistic, but also things that can tangibly get done. We talk about wellness, belonging, advocacy and campus life. Wellness, when it comes to mental health, when it comes to physical health and accessibility is very important, no matter what space you fit in. Feeling like you belong in a university who isn’t known for protecting those most vulnerable communities, but making sure that we take care of them. Also, we have advocacy. I’m big in the GU272 work. This past September, I helped host the first ever Slavery Remembrance Day on campus. But the work doesn’t stop there. Last is campus life. Meal plan, making sure that we expand the options that all students get at Georgetown and then obviously campus-wide transportation. We’re here to not only inflict change, but to inflict tangible changes that can actually get done so students could start seeing that their voices do matter.
Mehta: We’re not pretending to represent the 6000-plus undergraduates at Georgetown like we know what they’re going through or what they need or what they want. We hope to continue and leave it as an open conversation.
How do you believe you’ll be able to accomplish your goals for the term and how are you going to follow through on your campaign promises?
Cobb: Talking to students, communicating, advocating while also just starting to streamline. GUSA is for the students and should be by the students. Students getting behind the issue that they very much care about can make so much more change than one or two people who think they know what students want going in trying to get stuff done. But that also goes to making sure that we don’t necessarily villainize administration. When it comes to Georgetown students, and you know, our communities and intersectionalities communities, we’re gonna fight for them. Students come first, that’s our number one priority. But that also doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive from certain administrators’ number one priority.
How will you keep voters engaged with GUSA throughout the year if you win the election?
Cobb: Ongoing conversations with student leaders, making sure we create a more inclusive environment. GUSA as it is now, personally, is not built for people like me. We have to fundamentally get rid of hierarchy in GUSA first. GUSA needs to be more horizontal than vertical. We’re going to create that streamline for people who actually want to work in these communities and administration to get rid of that middleman. We want to make it more inclusive, we want to make it a team. We want to make it a family.
Do you support or not support ending legacy admissions?
Cobb: Yes, but done under a very explicit review. GU272 should be prioritized. We also have to realize Georgetown has become more diverse in the past 20 years. In the next 20 years the kids who are diverse are also gonna have kids. And one of the things we’re dealing with with slavery remembrance is getting rid of that generational gap between what white people may have and what people from descendant communities may have. We also have to protect those who are staff from low income backgrounds and marginalized communities here at Georgetown.
Do you support or not support changing the name of the SFS after Madeleine Albright?
Cobb and Mehta: No.
Give us your two-sentence elevator pitch as to why students should vote for you.
Mehta: I love leadership, I love people, I love working with people, I love hearing ideas. I know what it’s like to not feel at home here, I know what it’s like to feel at home here, that gap. I want to help everybody fill that gap, find their community, find their space, and there are a lot of conversations that need to be had for people to find those really, really niche spaces, whether they’re classes, people, communities, cultural groups or more on campus, and connect them to the correct resource centers.
Cobb: Georgetown is white, Georgetown is Black, Georgetown is Indigenous, Georgetown is bi, Georgetown is gay, Georgetown is low income, Georgetown is rich, Georgetown deals with mental health issues, Georgetown has anxiety, Georgetown has depression, Georgetown is bipolar, Georgetown is a lot of things, and what we want to do is we want to create a Georgetown for everybody, no matter what you are. A safe place for everybody, no matter what you believe, no matter who you are, no matter where you come from, and we believe that not that we can only do that best, but we believe that we won’t do that just by ourselves, but we want to invite us to do it with you.