Nate Tisa and Adam Ramadan sworn in as new GUSA executives
Outgoing GUSA President Clara Gustafson (SFS ’13) swore Tisa into office.
“I, Nate Tisa, do hereby affirm that I will faithfully execute the office of the president of the Georgetown University Student Association and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the constitution and bylaws of the student association,” he said.
Ramadan, incoming vice president, took his oath of office immediately after. Outgoing GUSA Vice President Vail Kohnert-Yount (SFS ’13) read the oath of office to him. He chose to place his left hand on Georgetown at Two Hundred and explained his symbolic reasoning for doing so later.
“In his speech, Nate said that we are at a crossroads, and, truth be told, it’s not only Georgetown that stands at a crossroads, but the Jesuit identity,” Ramadan said. “As a campus, we can drift away from tradition and just kind of wander off or we can reignite the fire and the passion in the community that have defined Georgetown for so long and bring the love and acceptance that this tradition has taught for the past 224 years. Part of the reason I brought that book is that it shows where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re going.”
Once Tisa and Ramadan were sworn in, each gave a brief address. After thanking Gustafson and Kohnert-Yount for their work as the preceding GUSA executives and thanking his campaign team for their support, Tisa addressed the unsuccessful GUSA tickets. “To me, the most remarkable thing about this campaign wasn’t the differences between the [different tickets’] platforms, but the similarities and the agreements,” Tisa said. “The student voice was very loud and clear on this, and we plan to move forward on those issues of agreement.”
Tisa and Ramadan are even offering some of their former rivals cabinet positions. Jack Appelbaum (COL ’14), Shavonnia Corbin-Johnson (SFS ’14), and Spencer Walsh (MSB ’14) all will serve on Tisa’s and Ramadan’s administration. “I say thank you for a well-fought campaign but, moreover, I say welcome,” Tisa said. “We look forward to working with Jack, Shavonnia, Spencer, as well as all of the other candidates, who will be invaluable, as we move forward in a spirit of cooperation.”
Tisa then highlighted the major goals of his GUSA presidency. First and foremost, he brought up freedom of speech on campus. “We will not submit to those who wish to marginalize the student body and restrict our freedoms, especially our freedom of speech,” Tisa said. “This is the second most politically-active campus in the United States, but we have a free speech policy that was rated ‘code red’ by an external reviewer.”
“Apathy towards the glaring problem of sexual assault is one of the biggest problems we face,” Tisa continued. He went on to call for more diversity and inclusiveness at Georgetown. “Too often, Georgetown is divided into small, disparate social worlds, which restrict empathy and close our minds,” Tisa said. “Often, we risk alienating those who are different than ourselves by the simple virtue of complacency. … Cura personalis does not happen on its own; it requires that we actively step out of our comfort zones to confront and empathize with those whose values and backgrounds are different from our own.”
Tisa hopes to “protect the most marginalized groups on campus” and will work towards gender neutral housing and greater accessibility for minority groups and LGBT students. Tisa, who is openly gay, believes this aspect of his campaign promises will be especially challenging but he remains confident.
“As the first gay president, and only the second gay president at a Jesuit institution, we’re going to face a lot of voices, from on campus and without, that haven’t been faced before,” he said. “I have absolutely no fear and complete confidence in my team.”