GUSA’s democratic deficit: Four Senate seats attract no candidates

This year, the GUSA Senate decided to streamline itself, assigning one fewer senator to each dorm that was previously represented by two or more and adding four at-large seats.  The idea was to reduce the number of seats in the highly-esteemed body, thus making it more competitive and accountable.

Well, this year’s list of GUSA Senate candidates is in, and it looks like there’s still some work left to do on making GUSA more competitive: there are no candidates to fill four of the 21 residence-representative spots.  McCarthy, Village A (E-H), Nevils, and the Townhouses are all sans GUSA candidates.

Nick Troiano (COL ’11), the leader of GUSA’s “Transition Team,” there is no procedure laid out for how to fill seats no one runs for.

“Nothing is codified yet but the transition team will recommend a process whereby the Senate will vote on candidates put forth by the Speaker to fill the seat (those who live in those districts),” Troiano wrote in an email.

Besides the four seats that didn’t attract any candidates, 11 of the 17 other residence-representative positions are uncontested.  In total, there are 34 candidates for 25 seats, and only 10 of the 25 seats will see contested elections.

The poor participation is worst in upperclassmen seats.  Whereas three of the five freshmen dorm seats are contested, only three of 16 upperclassman seats attracted multiple candidates (there are five candidates running to fill the four At Large seats, accounting for the other four contested races).

Check out the full list of GUSA candidates after the jump!

Candidates who were members of the GUSA Senate last year have been noted with asterisks:


  • Kelly Rohrbach


  • Arman Ismail

McCarthy: No candidates


  • Kyle Pienaar

Village C East:

  • Geraldine Miranda

Village C West:

  • Ben Bold
  • Ricardo Garza
  • Bruce Thomas
  • Tyler Sax
  • Taylor Wettach


  • John-Matthew Hopkins

New South:

  • Timothy Buckey
  • Chetan Panda
  • John Woolley
  • Christopher Newsome

Harbin (2-5):

  • Colton Malkerson

Harbin (6-9):

  • Nicholas Marino
  • Luke Devlin

Village A (A-D):

  • Thomas Marty*
  • Dalton Dwyer
  • Nick Troiano*

Village A (E-H): No candidates

Alumni Square:

  • Matthew Hoyt
  • Nick Macri


  • Sam Ungar
  • Adam Talbot*

Nevils: No candidates

Henle (1-48):

  • Adam Mortillaro

Henle (49-96):

  • Gregory Laverriere

Townhouses: No candidates

Off-Campus (3 seats):

  • Susie Movitz
  • Rahul Singh
  • Josh Mogil*

At Large (4 seats):

  • Eric Cusimano
  • Ace Factor
  • Chris Pigott*
  • Erickson Baniagri
  • Yasmin Serrato

13 Comments on “GUSA’s democratic deficit: Four Senate seats attract no candidates

  1. In the last couple of years GUSA has attracted 50+ candidates for the Senate. I wonder why the number fell by so much this year.

    However even in those years when there were many more candidates, GUSA leadership usually still had to go out and recruit some people to fill at least a couple of the upperclassmen slots to make sure there was someone to fill each seat. Sounds like they just forgot to recruit this year.

  2. In everyone’s rush to snipe here, we’ve overlooked some pretty glaring points.

    1. To say that GUSA’s has “failed to recruit” is to ignore several meetings passing substantial reforms, a couple of op-eds in the Hoya, a campus-wide email announcing the upcoming elections, two information sessions, and widespread coverage in the campus press generally. While the lack of candidates is disheartening and is certainly something GUSA needs to work on, I think it reveals something more depressing and apathetic about this campus.

    2. While that logo is dumb, if you’ll take a second to look, you’ll notice that it doesn’t appear on the GUSA website in any capacity that I’ve been able to find so far. To say that GUSA is “hopeless” because somebody a couple of years ago fiddled around in photoshop while the organization has so far this year has succeeded in expanded GUTS bus service, created a LSAT tutoring program for low-income students, and is working to dramatically expand SafeRides is frankly insulting.

  3. In response to “Hold on”:

    1. Regardless of what GUSA did to attempt candidates, the statement that GUSA “failed to recruit” is a fact. Four Senate seats attracted no candidates; therefore, GUSA did not find anyone to run for these seats.

    2. The logo doesn’t appear on their new website, but it’s on their old one, hosted by Georgetown. See: And, GUSA’s accomplishments aside, I wouldn’t dismiss stealing someone else’s logo as “fiddling around in photoshop.”

  4. The GUSA logo was from Dowd and was inherited to Calen. Calen thought he had more pressing things to get done like maybe an LSAT course and saferides that redesigning a stupid logo. But if people really think we should be spending more time on logos, then obviously we have our priorities pretty messed up.

  5. I should note that I’m not actually “from” GUSA, just know a lot of them and have heard this.

  6. Hold On,

    In the past those recruitment efforts have been supplemented by targeted efforts at recruiting people from those specific districts where nobody had registered to run. So, they must not have done that this year, or at least not successfully. It’s a pity.

    Regarding the logos — actually if you look closely at the logos they don’t look like they’re identical. Look at the S… the bottom of it is clearly different in how it interacts with the U. It’s more likely, IMO, that they both just used the same font for the block lettering and not that one is directly based on the other. But I don’t know, nothing would surprise me.

  7. “I think it reveals something more depressing and apathetic about this campus. ”

    Actually, I think it pretty much just reveals that GUSA is despressing and apathetic. We don’t need to remind anyone that students have successfully gotten themselves organized around all kinds of issues (and won campaigns) in recent years without even bothering with GUSA.

  8. Pingback: Vox Populi » GUSA Senate election results and meeting roundup

  9. Pingback: Vox Populi » GUSA Roundup: Protesting Petraeus protesters, and a bill to change up the Funding Board

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