Advocacy, partnerships, jargon, synergy: GUSA presidential debate recap
The highlights included discussions on SAC funding reform, sustainability, and student engagement with the University and administration.
The opening remarks included many mentions of “partnership” and GUSA’s role as a student advocate. Shavonnia Corbin-Johnson (SFS ‘14) set the tone for the evening by distinguishing herself as separate from the “administrative puppets” present on the stand.
Candidates were quickly subjected to questioning by campus media. When Vox asked about the candidates’ priorities, each seized upon the opportunity to flaunt their brilliance. Spencer Walsh (MSB ‘14) took the opportunity to mostly disagree with Vox’s question. “If you go in thinking you can’t do something, you’re not going to be able to do it,” Walsh said.
Nate Tisa (SFS ‘14) reiterated the points he’d made in his opening statement: that reforming the sexual assault reporting system as well as the free speech policy were the most important aspects of his campaign. Corbin-Johnson shared his desire to enhance student safety. Cannon Warren (SFS ‘14) expounded on the evils of elevators, bringing to light the little-known fact that the elevator certificates are mysteriously inaccessible. Warren also reminded the student body of the tragedy of the ban on multiple kegs, and urged us to reclaim our natural-born right to drink on Copley Lawn.
Election Commissioner Ethan Chess (COL ’14) opened the floor to a discussion section about sustainability and the environment at Georgetown, with a focus on the recent divestment campaign by GU Fossil Free. Each of the candidates agreed that the environment is an important aspect of student life. Jack Appelbaum (COL ‘14) pushed for buildings to be LEED certified, though many of them are already planned to be. Corbin-Johnson advocated for divestment from fossil fuels. Warren pushed for student scooters to be subsidized. Tisa touted his accomplishments as Speaker, including the composting initiative in Village B.
The questions shifted to SAC reform in a question posed directly to Appelbaum, whose platform centers on an overhaul of student club funding. While Appelbaum defended his commitment to changing student groups’ funding into a quasi-democratic control board, others begged to differ. Corbin-Johnson cited her experiences in an actually incredible number of student groups as evidence against the reform proposed by Appelbaum/Cleary. Walsh, Warren, and Tisa simply dismissed it as largely unnecessary.
High points of the evening also included Walsh’s vitriolic criticism of the current GUSA website, claiming he could build a better one “like, tomorrow,” Ethan Chess’ Canadian accent, and the revelation that Warren, by his own admission, has been running a serious campaign all along.
Photos: Miles Gavin Meng/Georgetown Voice