Fact Checkers: Trevor and Omika’s platform has a lot of promises

For the second to last Fact Checkers, Vox took a look at Trevor Tezel (SFS ’15) and Omika Jikaria‘s (SFS ’15) campaign. The lengthy platform is divided into three sections: connect to your values, connect to your community, and connect to your world.

Vox was selective in what she chose to evaluate because the platform is a whopping 29 pages.

Social Justice

Policy point: Introduce a policy that prevents the university from conducting business with suppliers who subject workers to non-living wages or unsafe working conditions.

Vox says: Vox likes the idea of extending social justice beyond our University’s shiny steel gates, especially when the University has implemented such policies in the past. Again, this policy would simply keep the University moving in that direction. In an email to Vox, Tezel explains that he wishes to adopt a program similar to the Designated Suppliers Program.

The other social justice points, which discuss issues like employees’ rights at Epicurean and grievances with the Georgetown Management System, acknowledge many tangible ways of improving social justice issues on campus.

There is, however, noticeable silence on Leo’s workers and their issues with Aramark, which has been an ongoing issue on campus in recent years.

Free Speech

Policy point: Establish a campus-wide free speech zone.

Vox says: Trevor and Omika’s point on free speech—and all the other candidates’ for that matter—seems to be in direct response to the H*yas for Choice debacle last semester. In addition to expanding free speech to all locations on campus, the candidates want to make tabling restrictions more clear and grant unrecognized groups, such as H*yas for Choice, the same rights as other clubs.

Tezel explains in an email to Vox that “we believe that tabling should be permitted in all locations that don’t block the normal flow of traffic or are considered sacred/religious.” Vox thinks this is a reasonable goal since talk on revising the current Free Speech and Expression Policy is already in the works. This policy would simply ensure that this revision is made in a way that best suits students’ interests.

Health and Safety

Policy point: Make sure the university is in compliance with Title IX.

Vox says: Trevor and Omika’s stance on sexual assault is clear: the candidates’ main goal is to make sure the university upholds its responsibility of “educating academic advisors and university officials in how to support survivors of sexual assault.” They also want to hire additional Counseling and Psychiatric Services trauma specialist to further ensure that sexual assault victims are receiving sufficient aid, though they should ensure that these specialists are confidential as the recent GUSA press release suggests.

Unlike Thomas Lloyd (SFS ’15) and  Jimmy Ramirez‘s (COL ’15) platform, the Tezel-Jikaria ticket is not looking to change the definition of consent. Tezel said the problems he sees are more cultural and have more to do with how cases are handled. Furthermore, he disagrees the Lloyd and Ramirez’s suggestion to have Jeanne Lord, the Title IX coordinator, be the sole point of contact for sexual assault cases. They say this is a misinterpretation of her role.

Pluralism

Policy Point: Develop programming to enrich the discussion on pluralism at Georgetown; establish Multicultural Council to help accomplish this.

Vox says: Trevor and Omika handle the pluralism platform well. Not only do they state that they want to create more programs to engender more talk on diversity—a push Georgetown desperately needs—but they also want to create a multicultural council that will promote the growth of current cultural groups on campus.

The platform doesn’t look to necessarily provide groups with more funding but rather to reevaluate current systems. The policy point includes many specifics, such as recruiting more minority faculty members and publishing the Senior Exit Survey results to look at discrimination and censorship. Vox appreciates the platform’s specificity on the issue of diversity instead of just using the word as a vague talking point.

Student Rights

Policy Point: Establish pilot programs that would expunge first-time alcohol violations

Vox says: Trevor and Omika are trying to help us college students out. They said a proposal is already in review by the Campus Life Working group that seeks to expunge violations after a year has passed, given a second violation has not occurred. Vox would like to think this is a reasonable goal since the university has been already pushing for more flexibility in regard to alcohol policy on campus with the open container policy in Village A and Henle.

Arts

Policy Point: Work to lift the dancing ban in ICC.

Vox says: Though working to promote artistic growth on campus in entirely in the right, Vox chose to include this point in order to demonstrate just how sprawling Trevor and Omika’s platform can be. She applauds the candidates’ commitment to wholly represent the student body, but she worries that when the time comes that they have to start cutting down on their goals, they won’t be able to keep all they promises they have made to these different parts of the student body.

Photo courtesy Omika Jikaria

4 Comments on “Fact Checkers: Trevor and Omika’s platform has a lot of promises

  1. as a Jesuit univerisity, the entire campus is considered sacred ground and so would be exempt from their free speech zone

    nice try

  2. Multicultural council? You mean SOCA right? I know this is an easy way to rally diversity groups around your cause but it’s tokenizing and discredits the excellent work already being done by a council of these groups themselves without GUSA’s help, thank you very much.

  3. Jeanne Lord is required to be the contact under Title IX. It doesn’t matter what Trevor and Omika wish to have concerning the hierarchy of sexual assault. Jeanne Lord, by law, must be informed one way or another.

  4. Jeanne Lord must only be informed if it is initially reported to a non-confidential staff member. So if a student told someone like the confidential sexual assault coordinator at HES she would not have to report it to Dr. Lord. However, if someone told their dean or a general non-confidential administrator they would have to report to Dr. Lord.

    Clearly Trevor and Omika understand this a little better than you do.

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