Vox‘s Voting Guide: Village C West and New South
These are the candidates for Village C West and New South. The two dorms will share three senators. There are fourteen candidates.
Anebi Adoga (COL ’16)
Anebi Adoga (COL ’16) is running for GUSA because he is extremely happy to be at Georgetown and wants to give back to the students who have been so welcoming to him.
“Georgetown is great because we the students are great,” he said.
Adoga is confident that his diverse background qualifies him to relate to people on many different levels. According to Adoga, the biggest issue on campus is communication. “Very few people know who their senators are”.
Adoga wants to broaden GUSA’s involvement with the student body and to combine the ideas of each party to make Georgetown a better place. Other issues that he wants address include the too few water stations at Leo’s, dirty dorm showers, and the inefficiency of the health center. Adoga proposes that Georgetown shares its files of copies of students’ insurance cards with the health center so that students who do not have their cards can still gain access to the health center.
“Part of my chief goal is to make students fully aware of all of the resources at their disposal.” An example Anebi gives is concerning floor funds; he wants students to have more of a say about how they want their funds to be spent. Anebi promises: “If people give me their vote, I’ll take care of the rest. If people give me their vote, I’ll give them my best.”
Seamus Guerin (COL ’16)
Seamus Guerin is a freshman in the College, and is studying political economy. He lives in VCW, where he is the president of its inter-hall council. Guerin is running for GUSA because he believes that his position as inter-hall council president of VCW, along with a GUSA seat, would allow him to connect New South and VCW both to each other and to GUSA. Guerin was quick to add that New South will definitely not be forgotten. “If elected, I definitely plan to be having meetings then to welcome in people from both New South and VCW. So, as their representative, I can be getting the pulse on issues.”
When asked about how he would approach the planned New South Student Center, Guerin pointed out that this is the perfect example of where this “duality between inter-hall, which is all about advocacy and programming for a building and area, along with GUSA, which is all about advocacy for the student body at large, really allows for a possibility for a lot of work to be done on the same page. […] [The Student Center] is a resource that all students on campus could use, and not just VCW or New South.”
Guerin’s top priority as a candidate is ensuring that the cases where students’ opinions are not being considered get addressed.
“I think that there are a number of cases on campus where students aren’t necessarily being heard, and I consider that an issue in and of itself,” said Guerin, “For example, we need more GUTS routes on the weekends, more grab ‘n go options, having them stay open longer, all these things which students would want, would benefit from, that just aren’t happening.”
Chandini Jha (COL ’16)
Chandini Jha is a freshman in the College, and intends to major in government. She lives on the second floor of New South. Jha came from an extremely large high school, and felt that the student body there was disconnected from its government.
Her hope, and reason for running for a GUSA seat, is to be able to ensure that this disconnect she felt in high school does not exist at Georgetown. “I want to make the community of VCW and New South feel a little bit more like a closer knit group.” Specifically, Chandini mentioned “food nights, or just something fun so that people can get to know one another” as ways to “build an inter-dorm community”, which is more connected to GUSA.
Jha’s top priority is fixing the situation at Leo’s. “I think that the things that we should do to make Leo’s better is, #1, it needs to be more widely accessible and available for students. The grab ‘n go option should be available on the weekends. No one should feel like they have to spend more money, or pay for more stuff, when they’re already paying so much for their meal plan.”
She also wants to implement a student accountability board for Leo’s. The dining hall’s current efforts to conduct its makeover on its own are not sufficient, says Jha. “I think it would be better if there was a student government kind of infrastructure that’s involved in making sure that there is accountability,” This structure would allow every student to have direct feedback for any complaints or suggestions regarding Leo’s.
Alejandra Nieto (MSB ’16)
Alejandra Nieto is a freshman in the MSB, and she intends to major in international business, with minors in both Spanish and Portuguese. She lives in VCW. Nieto’s interest in GUSA stems from her involvement in her high school’s student government.
“Back at home in Texas, I created a club called ‘CES’, and it was basically a Hispanic student council. Because my hometown was one of the last in America to desegregate, you can only imagine what the lack of diversity was like.”
The normal student council was run entirely by white students, and Nieto felt that minorities were being left out of school activities. CES turned out to be a tremendous success for Nieto’s high school. “By the end of my senior year, we ended up integrating the communities much more. We had CES collaborating with the normal student government.” Nieto seeks to bring this same sort of community organizing and advocacy, along with her abilities to connect and listen to those in need, to GUSA.
Like many other candidates, Nieto’s top priority right now is improving Leo’s. She explains that freshmen may be hesitant to start complaining after only a few weeks on campus, but she sees the problems and the need to have them addressed right away.
“You have to walk miles to find water, but it goes beyond that. I’ve heard a lot of my classmates talk about how they don’t think it’s fair that, at the end of the week, if they haven’t used up all their meals, it doesn’t roll over. And so, financially, they’re struggling with that, because they’re paying for it, and yet, they’re not getting their money’s worth.” Nieto also wants to change the grab ‘n go hours to be more flexible.
Abby Cooner (SFS ’16)
Abby Cooner (SFS ’16) believes she will be a good representative to GUSA because she is “involved, outgoing and would be able to represent the voice of the people well.” Cooner wants to be part of the Student Life Committee to advance the interests of the student body. She is concerned that students are not properly informed about the spaces and resources available to them on campus.
“While there are things I want to improve, I want to focus also on making use of the resources we have available to us and making sure we take full advantage of them,” said Cooner, “So that’s not something that’s a one time sort of deal; that’s something I want to be able to do consistently throughout the year.”
An example Cooner cites is the Village C West community room that very few students know about. She wants students to see their opportunities and to make the best of their time here on campus.
Another issue Cooner is especially passionate about is Wi-Fi. She lives in New South where she and many other students do not have Wi-Fi in their dorm rooms. Abby hopes that if she is elected to the Senate, she will be able to improve student life and tackle any issues that come to surface for the student body throughout the year.
Allie Hexner (COL ’16)
Allie Hexner (COL ’16) is running for GUSA because “I’ve gotten really close with my floor, and I’d love to help people get the day to day things that can be improved.”
Specifically she wants to improve communication with facilities and maintenance; her floor’s microwave and TV have been broken for weeks. She also wants to implement change at Leo’s, like improving Grab and Go and Late Night.
“A lot of people don’t have time to eat during the day, and the food served at Late Night is usually just left overs from dinner. I’d like to change the food at Late Night to specific food for Late Night, like power bars.”
In high school Hexner was on her school’s committee of disciplinary action for four years.
“I was really interested in how the administration dealt with punishment and more importantly forming policy and making policy clearer.”
Hexner says her experience on this committee would be beneficial if elected to GUSA. “Because I was on this committee I learned about how the administration interacts with student government. On the council I was with teachers and students, so it was a lot of communicating with adults, which I think is a helpful skill to have.”
Randy Puno (COL ’16)
Randy Puno (COL ’16) is running on for GUSA on a whim. His friends here inspired him and told him that he “seem(s) like someone we could talk to in case we need our voices heard.”
Puno is confident that he has established close relationships here and is an easily reachable person. “I want to set myself apart as someone who can really just talk to people,” he said.
Puno says his campaign is not set on a strict agenda because “I don’t want to tell people want I want… I’m open to whatever people want. I don’t have anything personally that I would advocate for over other things.”
However he is concerned about the representation of international students on campus.
“I’m an international student so I have a couple of ideas that have to do with us specifically,” said Puno, “One of the more ambitious ideas is to have a seat (on GUSA) designated for international students.”
He hopes that any international student could take this seat, but, he said, “I’m probably one of the only international students running.” His priority is to raise the issues of international students. To sum it up, Randy says, “I’m a small town Filipino guy who wants people to vote for me if they think I’m the guy that they want to be in GUSA for them.”
Alex Luta (COL ’16)
Alex Luta (COL ’16) is running for GUSA because he was involved with student government in high school.
“I really enjoyed it, and I made a huge impact in high school. I worked on various committees,” said Luta, “I just want to continue doing that at Georgetown because I feel passionately about many of the issues here, and I would like to use my experience to help out and make a difference.”
If elected, he would prioritize fundraising initiatives for the GUSA student activities budget. His fundraising ideas include basketball, soccer, and powder-puff football tournaments. Luta wants an increase in campus student activities including more dances, movies on the lawn, and a proposed “battle of the dorms”. He also hopes to extend the hours that students can access other dorms without being signed in.
Luta feels that his innovative ideas, experience, and creativity distinguish him from the other candidates.
“I’m passionate about this, and I really want to make a difference at Georgetown. I have the time to do it. I have the dedication,” said Luta, “I have never let people down before in leadership positions, and I will never let down Georgetown. Hoya Saxa.”
Joseph Laposata is a freshman in the College planning on majoring in Government. As an inhabitant of New South, Joe’s top priority is the construction of the New South Student Center.
“If all goes smoothly,” Laposata said, “then the center will be a wonderful place for us to have a drink overlooking the Potomac our Junior year. But in the meantime, let’s make sure we don’t get screwed over by the construction.”
What sets Laposata apart from the other ambitious freshmen running for GUSA senate? Well for one, he was born in April of 1995, making him significantly younger than most of the other members of the Class of 2016. “I know what it’s like to be disenfranchised,” Joe expressed when asked about his potential status as the youngest student on campus, “but I try to make up for it by being a more zealous advocate for the causes dear to me than anybody else.”
Manavi Bhagwat (SFS ’16)
Bhagwat is a freshman in the School of Foreign Service planning on majoring in Science, Technology and International Affairs. She is running to make “much needed change in the Georgetown community.”
Bhagwat’s top priority is to make Leo’s a better place for both the students and the employees, especially in light of the recent health violations and reduction of food options.
“Since Georgetown just signed a 5-year contract with Aramark, the company that runs Leo’s, it’s up to us as a student body to speak our voice.” she said.
Bhagwat promises to put enough pressure on Leo’s and the school administration in order to effectively make a change in policies.
“Everyone has enthusiasm,” Bhagwat expressed, “but I have the follow-through and passion to make real change happen now. Nothing can stop me when I have a goal in mind.”
Daniel McCusker (COL ’16)
Daniel McCusker is a freshman in the College, currently Undecided. There are two main reasons why McCusker is running for GUSA Senate.
“I’m running because I want to make the student experience at Georgetown the best that it can possibly be,” said McCusker, “and I’m also running so I can declare to Mace Windu, ‘I AM the Senate!’ before throwing him out of my office window with Force lightning.”
McCusker’s top priority is making the residence halls “more livable.” This initiative would include expanding access to washers and driers, maintaining the cleanliness of restrooms, showers, and laundry rooms, advocating for larger TVs in common room areas, and increasing the amount of cooking supplies provided in common room kitchens.
McCusker has extensive experience serving his fellow students. As a board member of high school’s chapter of the National Honor Society, he planned and oversaw many fun events, including an annual dodgeball tournament, and he has been an Eagle Scout for several years.
“These experiences in leadership have prepared me to be a great GUSA senator,” said McCusker, “and I look forward to continuing to serve you.”
Jenny Chen (SFS ’16)
Jenny Chen is a freshman in the School of Foreign Service, currently Undecided. Her top priority is not just to fix Leo’s, but our meal plan system as well.
According to Chen, “Leo’s charges students approximately $16 for food that is lacking in taste and variety, and simply put, is really not worth it.”
Chen also argues that the mandatory meal plan requirement during a student’s first two years is “not fair,” since many students leave Leo’s feeling “grumpy” and “unsatisfied.” To change the system, Jenny aims to advocate for meal swipes to work at Epicurean and other on-campus restaurants as well as Vital Vittles and Hoya Snaxa.
She also plans on fighting for Grab-and-Go to open on the weekends and to expand the currently “limited and not very tasty” food options.
“I think what really sets me apart from other candidates is that I am someone who can actually make solving the Leo’s problem a reality.” said Chen. “I recognize the intrinsic flaws in the system and I know how to fix them.”
Kevin Meurer (SFS ’16)
Kevin Meurer is a freshman in the School of Foreign Service, currently Undecided. When asked why he was running for GUSA, Meurer simply responded with, “Kevin Meurer IS leadership.”
Meurer has not one, but three top priorities he would like to address. First, he aims to pressure the administration to install laundry facilities in the VCW building. “Once winter comes around, walking over to VCE is going to feel like even more of a pain,” said Meurer.
His second priority is quicker access to water in Leo’s, which he believes is “way too much of an issue right now.”
Finally, Meurer would also fight to improve the state of the New South Common rooms by advocating for the upgrading of facilities and the addition of a shared movie library so students would be able to watch movies whenever they like.
In addition to serving as an active member of his high school’s student government, Meurer claims to be “awesome” at making heath bar brownies. “Also, I am the only candidate that can quote Anchorman in its entirety,” said Meurer, “60% of the time, I get the job done every time.”
Kevin Kimes did not respond to requests for comment.