Saxa Politica: Hold GUSA to promises

September 22, 2011

It’s that time of year again, when we elect a number of our fellow classmates to senatorship in the Georgetown University Student Association. As regular as the yearly elections are, so are the outlandish promises made by candidates as they vie for the few votes necessary to win (one student only had to garner four votes to win one of last year’s GUSA Senate elections).

Though these pledges are often made by freshmen who have yet to find out how little an effect they can have on the bureaucratic machine that is Georgetown, upperclassmen make some of the same asinine promises far too often. Unfortunately, this also includes candidates for the more effectual branch of GUSA, the office of the President and Vice-President.

Elected last spring, GUSA President and Vice-President Mike Meaney (SFS ’12) and Greg Laverriere (COL ’12) ran on a platform of “re-envisioning the Hilltop”. Having served more than half of their term in the executive so far, have they lived up to their slogan?

Meaney and Laverriere have already accomplished one of their campaign goals, securing funding to continue the Collegiate Readership Program, a service that provides free newspapers on campus. The duo have also delivered on their promise to create a program called “GUSARides” to shuttle students between M Street, Wisconsin Avenue, and campus during late-night hours on weekends in order to reduce the amount of foot traffic in the neighborhood.

Still, only around half of their plan to re-envision the Hilltop has been completed.

On the campaign, Meaney and Laverriere pledged to work with Aramark to allow students to get hot food from inside Leo O’Donovan Dining Hall as a part of Grab ‘n Go. They also pledged to have a subsidized optional weekly cleaning service for University-owned townhouses similar to the program that George Washington University currently has. Neither of these popular pledges has been implemented.

The campaign also promised to create a GUSA Ambassadorship Program that would allow students to attend relevant international conferences in order to further promote Georgetown overseas. This idea has a number of fundamental problems (for instance, should we even be spending money on something like this?), and so the proposal has not yet come to fruition.

No one ever expects a politician—let alone a student politician—to follow through on all of their campaign promises, but that does not mean we cannot hold their feet to the fire and try to make them follow through on them. As GUSA election season rolls around, make sure to keep in mind the platforms that the candidates run on and see if they actually follow through on them. Maybe the newly-elected senators and the current executive will break the trend of GUSAs past and follow through with the majority of their campaign promises. But I’m not holding my breath.

Sweet talk Geoffrey into voting at


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