On the Record with Sara and Ryan: Capital Campaign, advocacy, and some extra cheese
In preparation for the 2015 GUSA Executive Election on Feb. 19, Vox will be speaking with all five tickets throughout the week to get to know the candidates on a more personal level.
First up is Sara Margolis (COL ’16), who is running for President, and Ryan Shymansky (COL ’16), who is running for Vice President. [Full disclosure: Shymansky is a former member of the Voice’s Editorial Board.] Their platform includes an ambitious five-year campaign to raise money for student groups and greater advocacy through the formation of a Student Leadership Fund. They also both like cheese on their Wisey’s sandwiches.
What are the most important issues addressed in your platform, and what are some immediate changes you would like to make in office?
Our platform reflects our commitment to advocating for all marginalized students, whether they are nontraditional, veterans, LGBTQ, disabled, people of color, or from a less privileged socioeconomic background. By pursuing the formation of a Student Leadership Fund, for example, we can provide for greater involvement in campus life regardless of financial means.
We will also fight to make sure that students get a fair shake in the 2017 Campus Plan, ensuring that no additional students are pushed onto campus, that needed renovations are completed before planning any new buildings, and that every foot of green space lost to construction projects is replaced elsewhere on campus. We will immediately form a Master Planning Working Group comprised of upper and underclassmen who will be affected by the next Campus Plan.
Finally, we will launch a Student Activities Capital Campaign that will partner with student groups on campus to raise $5 million in five years from alumni and donate those funds directly to student groups and the GUSA Fund.
What makes your ticket unique from the others that are in the running?
Sara: We have strong records of student advocacy and the most experience advocating on behalf of student rights. As the first ever Secretary of Transfer Affairs, I’ve successfully pushed for the creation of an Admitted Transfer Student Day and a Transfer LLC despite initial opposition from administrators. I also institutionalized congratulatory calls to admitted transfer students, started the GUSA Transfer Mentorship Program, worked with NSO Coords to improve transfer NSO, and met with President DeGioia to discuss the transfer experience.
Ryan: As Co-Director of the Student Advocacy Office, I’ve overseen a doubling of our caseload, allowing us to serve more students than ever before. This success was largely due to an increase in freshman outreach work. I’ve also pushed the administration to inform students of potential conduct violations within thirty days of the student being written up. Additionally, I have advocated for students living off campus as a member of three Georgetown Community Partnership working groups charged with writing the next Campus Plan. We have real experience with advocacy work, and we’ll be able to translate that into a successful Executive term.
Which groups on campus have you been involved in during your time at Georgetown?
Sara: Last year I served on the board of the College Democrats as the Director of Advancement and Alumni Relations. I’m also a member of the Dance Company, and I’m a Transfer Peer Advisor.
Ryan: Along with my work in the Student Advocacy Office, I’m also a Blue and Gray tour guide and the student representative to the Alumni Board of Governors.
If you could describe your campaign in four words, what would they be?
Advocacy, engagement, passion, and record
What is your favorite Wisey’s sandwich?
Sara: Blueberry bagel with egg and American cheese
Ryan: Chicken Madness, no bacon, extra cheese
Thoughts on Left Shark for GUSA 2015?
A picture is worth a thousand words. See above photo.
Photo: Courtesy of Sara and Ryan