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As voting nears, GUSA candidates increasingly competitive
By the end of Friday, the ongoing campaign efforts of seven dedicated tickets for GUSA President and Vice President will finally reach a conclusion as voting takes place over the next two days. Over the past two weeks, students going to Leo’s, entering the library, or walking through Red Square have been subject to a hoard of campaigning by hopeful candidates. Any student browsing Facebook finds that a huge chunk of students have foregone their regular profile pictures for candidate endorsements.
“Everybody’s stepping up their game and doing things with a lot more intensity than what has been done in the past,” presidential candidate Murphy Kate Delaney (COL ’13) said. “I would say that overall this campaign season definitely has been unique as opposed to the elections in the past years I’ve been at Georgetown, simply because of the sheer number of tickets running.”
This year’s election, with one of the largest fields in recent memory, has witnessed a variety of strategies and slogans, but the one unifying factor among the campaigns is extraordinary competition and innovation. Campaign videos feature men’s basketball players Hollis Thompson and Henry Sims, Georgetown rapper Tate Tucker, and even our very own “Shit Hoyas Say” parody. We’ve seen photo montages of Hoyas endorsing candidates, and a giant Rubik’s cube in Red Square. The official websites for the campaigns have professional aesthetics and layouts.
“This year has a larger, more diverse field, and it seems that the race has been more volatile and uncertain compared to last year’s,” current GUSA President Mike Meaney (COL ’12) said. “By all measurements, this is a very competitive election. Many of the tickets have qualified, proven candidates, with a variety of different backgrounds and different experiences on campus.”
The competitive nature of this year’s election has not been without its challenges. When a Red Square advertisement for the Colton Malkerson/Maggie Cleary ticket shaped like an American flag was vandalized this weekend, Malkerson (COL ’13) decided to stick to the issues rather than lose energy and stamina.
“We’re keeping our heads up and staying on schedule,” he said. “Although the election is competitive, that doesn’t change anything about our platform or our experience.”
Other candidates also noticed the dirtier side of this year’s race.
“Increased competitiveness of the campaigns did add some negativity, such as anonymous comments on [Vox Populi] or other news websites,” vice-presidential candidate Vail Kohnert-Yount (SFS ’13) said. “However, I don’t know any specific instances of negativity or competition from any other campaigns, and this shows that we’re all in it to make Georgetown a better place.”
The seven sets of candidates have each laid out their platforms, debated, knocked on hundreds of doors, and handed out flyers in Red Square, proving that this year’s hopefuls are working more tirelessly than ever to be taken seriously by the Georgetown population. Now the time has come to reveal how much each of their efforts has resonated with the undergraduate student body.
Most agree that voter turnout will be very high this election. “We don’t have enough history of a campaign this competitive to go by,” GUSA Election Commission Officer Adam Giansiracusa (SFS ’12) said. “That said, I think most people would assume that a more competitive campaign would lead to more people voting.”
The dedication on the part of candidates is indicative of a promising future for GUSA. “The campaigns have been working hard to turn people out, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we approached record turnout,” GUSA Senator-at-Large Adam Talbot (COL ’12) said. “I’ve been very impressed with the creativity, dedication, and platforms of many of the tickets. I think we can rest assured that the organization will be in good hands moving forward.”