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 series—Fact Checkers—to 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.
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 it, Vox 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.
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 System—basically to give space and recognition to controversial student groups—has 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.
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.
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.
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