Incumbent Georgetown University Student Association President Calen Angert (MSB ’11) and Vice President Jason Kluger (MSB ’11) won this year’s GUSA executive election with 50.1 percent of the vote, the GUSA Election Commission announced on Wednesday evening. A record-breaking 3,152 students—44 percent of the undergraduate student body—voted in the election, 543 more than last year.
His closest rival, former GUSA Senator and Finance and Appropriations Committee Chair Matt Wagner (SFS ‘11), received 35.8 percent of the vote.
Angert and Kluger pointed to their track record and network of supporters as major factors in their victory.
“Our mantra was ‘Because Results Count,’” Angert said. “I think that really resonated with a lot of students.”
When asked why they chose a particular candidate, however, most students interviewed for this article cited face-to-face encounters from candidates who knocked on their doors. But others said they supported what Kluger termed GUSA’s “new direction.”
“I thought they did a good job this year,” Patrick Sweeney (COL ’12) said. “The fact that they were able to get something done for the general student body is pretty cool … The fact that they were able to get something done period was a reason for voting for them.”
The idea of a “New GUSA” surfaced several times during the campaign and was mentioned by two of Angert’s competitors, Arman Ismail (COL ’11) and Hillary Dang (SFS ’12), as reasons Angert and Kluger won.
“I am really happy with the historic turnout,” Ismail said. Ismail came in third, receiving 8.1 percent of the vote in the first round. “It’s just magnificent. It’s part of a new GUSA. I think people like the tone they set.”
Dang came in fourth with 4.7 percent of the vote in the first round.
“Calen and Jason’s reelection suggests a new GUSA,” Dang said. “Calen and Jason definitely deserve this victory.”
Both Ismail and Dang attributed their losses partly to a lack of name recognition among students. Dang said that she and her vice presidential candidate Katie Balloch (COL ‘12) were interested in getting more experience in student politics and potentially running again next year.
Angert said he viewed the election partly as a referendum on the Funding Board Reform legislation recently passed by GUSA, which became the main point of disagreement between him and Wagner, who came in second with 1,108 votes in the first round. Although disappointed by the results, Wagner said he and his running mate Emmanuel Hampton (COL ’11) had met one of the goals they had set for themselves at the beginning of the campaign: to get 1,000 votes in the first round.
“We would have preferred a win, but we were very happy with the way our campaign went,” Wagner said. “We wish [Angert and Kluger] the best, and we hope they will draw from some of our ideas.”
Students who supported Wagner and Hampton talked about their fresh perspective and specific campaign promises.
“They were talking about higher DPS pay, which is an issue I really care about,” Sean Kelley (SFS ’13) said. “I thought it would be good to have a change in perspective.”
Angert and Kluger said that they expect to hold their first meeting of their second term this weekend. The first item on the agenda is the budget summit, which allocates the student activities fee funding to clubs and will be held Sunday. Angert said that he will begin solidifying next year’s agenda at the executive meeting.