Fact Checkers: Thomas and Jimmy’s platform is small but pretty darn specific

As Georgetown weathers the throes of the GUSA Presidential campaign season, Vox brings you a new seriesFact Checkersto help you wade through what can seem like outrageous campaign promises and identify platform points that might just be kind of nifty.

To start off, Vox took a look at the platform of Thomas Lloyd (SFS ’15) and Jimmy Ramirez‘s (COL ’15), which summarizes itself platform in three words: empowering, collaborating, and innovating.

Vox has combed through the finer points of the platform to elucidate the exact goals, context, and possible weak points of Thomas and Jimmy’s proposals.

Empowering

Social Life

Policy point: Expand the Open Container Policy to Alumni Square and East Campus courtyards.

Vox says: This is reasonably feasible as GUSA’s recent efforts to allow open containers in Village A and Henle were well-recieved by the administration. The University is also under increasing pressure from neighbors to keep drunk students on campus, and when both GUSA and the administration agree, things usually get done.

Student Code of Conduct

Policy point: Increase the Student Advocacy Office‘s funding by 50 percent.

Vox says: Thomas and Jimmy want to expand the SAO’s mission of educating students on the Student Code of Conduct to include mediating free speech issues. In an email to Vox, Lloyd wrote that they hope to increase funding so that the SAO will be able to have another role on campus: “We want the SAO to have liaisons with different student groups, so that every group knows their rights and has an advocate to put on that more controversial type of programming.” The money, purportedly, would come from the GUSA executive budget. In the light of the recent H*yas for Choice incident, and the confusion following itVox sees this as much needed.

Safety + Health

Policy point: Conduct a Student Health Report.

Vox says: The goal here is to recognize the obstacles to certain health services at the Student Health Center. While Vox believes this is needed, she noticed the platform failed to explicitly address mental health services, which some students find are not equipped well enough to deal with a range of disorders.

Sexual Assault Policy Reform

Policy points: Improve the definition of consent at Georgetown; Make the Title IX Coordinator the only point of contact for survivors.

Vox says: Thomas and Jimmy have done their homework on sexual assault, proposing greatly needed changes to Georgetown’s current policy: redefining consent so that silence does not constitute consent and that the power-dynamic of relationships (i.e. professor-student) is recognized as an influence on consent. Lloyd explains why the Title IX Coordinator is necessary: “It is FEDERAL LAW that the Title IX Coordinator be the point of contact. Any student trying to report sexual assault should KNOW who Jeanne Lord is and should be able to EASILY access her. The goal is to minimize the number of people the survivor has to reveal this sensitive information to.”

Vox believes Thomas and Jimmy could also have mentioned substance amnesty clauses: the alcohol amnesty clause was recently introduced to remove barriers for survivors wishing to report, but it did not include the use of other substances. Vox recognizes that this is likely a sensitive topic for the University, though she believes Thomas and Jimmy could aim for further discussions on that issue.

Collaborating

Student Group Empowerment

Policy point: Do not deny any group access to free speech, space, and spending; accomplish this with the Tier System.

Vox says: The idea of Tier Systembasically to give space and recognition to controversial student groupshas been thrown around by multiple campaigns this season, but Thomas and Jimmy seem to know what they are talking about (Lloyd is the president of GU Pride). While the exact details are still hazy, it seems as though the ticket has a lot to work with. Llyod writes: “Tiers could include access to the same spaces as other student groups, then access to space and spending as a sac group, but not having rights to the University seal, etc.” The goal is to find a middle ground so that the University does not inadvertently stifle the free speech of certain groups it does not officially support.

Athletics

Policy point: Improve Kehoe field to increase the safety of athletes.

Vox says: Kehoe field, which full of holes and is unsafe to practice on, is known for causing injuries. Like the funding for SAO, the money for this endeavor would come from the executive budget. Thomas and Jimmy are impressive in their drive to revamp the allocations of the GUSA exec. In the an interview with the Voice, Lloyd said: “We want to move money that no other ticket wants to touch.” Vox isn’t entirely sure what GUSA executives normally spend their budget on, but she likes that Thomas and Jimmy are promising to use money they already have to fund changes they want to see instead of waiting for the administration to do something.

Innovating

Fostering Student Collaboration

Policy point: Tie housing incentives to events run by students.

Vox says: This plays off the idea behind What’s a Hoya: offer housing incentive to get event turnout. Basically, groups could garner larger audiences if they had housing points to offer. This would move the focus from these sorts of informative speeches from GUSA to the student groups that know about these issues best. This is an innovative idea, and is also held by other tickets, namely Zach and Dan.

Sustainability 

Policy point: Offer grants for student projects that further Georgetown’s green commitment.

Vox says: This portion of the platform is not as fleshed out much as the others. Essentially, Thomas and Jimmy want to provide additional means for green initiatives beyond the SIPS fund, using again their executive coffers. Lloyd writes: “We are aimed more at student leaders and groups unlike the SIPS fund which finances more specific projects from individual students.”

Photo courtesy of Thomas and Jimmy’s campaign

15 Comments on “Fact Checkers: Thomas and Jimmy’s platform is small but pretty darn specific

  1. Just want to point out a few things, Vox: this is a good idea, but some background might be helpful.

    Sexual assault – making Dr. Lord the sole hearer of sexual assault cases is in theory a good idea, but in practice no good. The sheer volume of cases would create a back up and cause even further delays, making it harder to report sexual assaults. Instead, GUSA should continue to advocate for MORE sexual assault focused staff members (this has been a Nate/Adam project for the better part of their term).

    Kehoe field – fixing this puppy will take at least several million dollars according to estimates, again something Nate/Adam looked into. Student Activities Funding can’t cover this project, unfortunately.

  2. Making Dr. Lord the sole contact is ill advised–she is a mandatory reporter and under Title IX she MUST investigate all claims of sexual assault, many times against the wishes of the survivor. We need more confidential resources, although the idea that we should highlight Dr. Lord more isn’t a bad one. People running for GUSA should participate in the Sexual Assault Working Group because a lot of these platforms are duplicative and aren’t informed by experience on these issues.

  3. Their idea for a tier system is MUCH needed on this campus. I’m glad to see Thomas and Jimmy planning to take initiative in office instead of waiting. Also the Harbin patio idea is a feasible one to utilize the space on campus we already have. I’d like to hear more about Sustainability though.

  4. Increasing the role of the Student Advocacy Office is a great idea. Students should know exactly what they’re entitled to do. Props to them, even though I’m for Trevor/Omika.

  5. As the above commenter noted, fixing Kehoe will require more than the entire student activity fee allocation for one year, so good luck getting that done through an executive budget alone.

    Also, if Vox really wants to accurately fact check the platforms, they should probably be informed on their own. Statements like “Vox isn’t entirely sure what GUSA executives normally spend their budget on…..” really undermines Vox’s credibility. Do some research. All of the proposed budgets from the past year are public. If you plan to judge platforms this year, you should have some research and be informed from past years. Don’t make guesses and assumptions.

  6. Just as a point of clarification, student groups are not accountable to the student code of conduct, but rather to their various advisory boards. SAO deals solely with code of conduct violations, so a better idea would be to create a separate office to help student groups understand better the policies that apply to them.

  7. Props to Vox for taking a look at the platforms – a long overdue election tradition. Good points made in a lot of the above though, research will be important to do this well.

  8. Making Dr. Lord the sole contact is ill informed–she is a mandatory reporter, which means that under Title IX she MUST investigate all claims of sexual assault, many times against the wishes of the survivor. We need more confidential resources.

    Also their platform inaccurately states that Jimmy is a Sexual Assault Peer Educator, he is a part of the group but he has not been through the training.

  9. Props to VOX for this type of segment, this is a good thing.

  10. Also not sure where this belongs but Fact Check on Ben and Sam – Ben didn’t do diddly squat for the H2O water bottles thing. It was Gabe Pincus, Caroline James (N/A’s secy and undersecy for sustainability) and before them Vetone Ivezaj.

    All this “Cheers to Ben/Sam” stuff is getting awkward

  11. Honestly Vox, if this is what you call “fact-checking” then there’s really no point. It takes only the most basic of reporting work to verify that Jimmy Ramirez IS NOT a Sexual Assault Peer Educator. Contact any of the trainers and they will tell you themselves that he did not complete the training.

    Also, pro-tip: when reporting on their proposal to double the size of the SAO’s budget, check what the budget currently is, because the SAO doesn’t even use all of its budget at this point. Expanding its role is a worthy position to take, but the SAO doesn’t really require much funding to do its job.

  12. Uninformed members of the student media attempting to fact-check candidates that are more involved in student life than they are: this should be a ton of fun.

  13. Washed up alums who still involve themselves in campus politics with little to no idea what’s actually going on now: oh wait that’s everyone in GUSA after they graduate.

  14. And when you say that with your name on it, I’ll think about offering you a modicum of respect.

  15. what the point of this segment is if the people reporting don’t actually know anything more than what is being said to them in the platforms.

    Jimmy isn’t a Sexual Assault Peer Educator. He started the training and never finished. While he has been active in the Senate in regards to sexual assault prevention, do not overestimate what he has done/let him to do that.

    The Executive Budget must be confirmed by Finance and Appropriations, which means it is another place they need to dole out money to. If Thomas and Jimmy think they can simply accomplish things through their executive budget then that means that either Club Sports or SAC or PAC or any other group that gets money from FinApp is going to get LESS. There is not some infinite amount of money for the Executive budget to come from – the more they get, the less other student groups get.

    Kehoe Field would cost literally millions of dollars to repair. The false advertising and flatout lie that this Executive ticket could fix Kehoe field with money from their executive budget is absolutely ludicrous.

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