A couple of opinion pieces have been published in The Hoya questioning why there are not more candidates in the executive race for the Georgetown University Student Association. Potential candidates take a long time contemplating a run for the executive. They question what they bring to the race, what policy issues they want to bring to the forefront for advocacy, if it is worth the time and effort to run a campaign and lead the executive, and what their team will look like. We know this because, as potential candidates ourselves, we debated these issues, among others, for quite a while. In the end, we all chose not to run.
While a few opinion pieces have been published demanding more tickets, none stopped to seriously contemplate why there are not more candidates.
Over the last year were we asked by friends, family and peers on campus: would we run? Yes. Were we encouraged to run? Yes. Did we consider running for GUSA? Yes. Did we choose to put our names on the ballot? No.
The decision to not be candidates varies for each of us, whether it be personal or professional reasons, or both. We all at one point seriously reflected on if running for GUSA was the right decision.
We still are confident we made the right decisions.
GUSA is too often talked about in a dangerous dichotomy: perceived as irrelevant, pretentious and powerless, or taken far too seriously as an institution that requires involved students to devote their entire lives to serving the student body while often losing touch with themselves. We as the student body don’t have to let this dichotomy persist. We have the ability to transform the status quo to create a GUSA that better represents and advocates for students, run by Hoyas who also can have lives outside of the GUSA office. This year represents a unique opportunity to achieve just that.
Team collaboration is a superior model to intense competition that needlessly divides the campus based on personalities. GUSA can better advocate for student interests when all communities on campus are stakeholders. That requires the institution to be open, easy to access and volunteer-centered rather than operating under an unpaid full-time job mindset for all GUSA staff and cabinet members. Larger teams can accomplish much more than a single person working full-time but alone.
We are excited to work with the next executive to push for major policy initiatives ranging from sexual assault reform to a better dining contract to GUSA restructuring. We are also excited to be students, loving life at Georgetown in the causes, clubs and commitments that are dear to our hearts, whether it be as an RA, tenor in the Gospel Choir or member of the board of College Republicans. We are eager to see a new GUSA that allows for both, which is emulated by the leadership at the top.
This election is an opportunity for everyone to come to the table and rethink the very foundation upon which GUSA is built. This is an opportunity to challenge the status quo and transform GUSA into a stronger advocacy body with Hoyas eager to work on big issues on campus, without sacrificing their entire lives.
We chose not to run for a variety of reasons, but we are choosing to be involved and engaged. You can too.
Alex Bobroske is a junior in the School of Foreign Service. Connor Maytnier is a junior in the College. Sam Granville is a junior in the College.