Students who are competing for selected seats in the Student Association Senate may find the race more competitive this year than in previous campaigns, some candidates and SA members said.
The graduate school seats are among the most highly contested spots this year, which came as a surprise to some graduate senators who are running for re-election.
“This is different from past years,” said graduate Sen. J.P. Blackford (SEAS), who is running for one of two seats in his school against two other candidates. “There may not be much of a change in the outcome of the elections, but I do think it may increase the amount of graduate students who turn out to vote. I also think it will add legitimacy to the graduate campaigns.”
Blackford said he is not certain why the graduate seats are more highly contested this year, but he has noticed many candidates for the seats are members of the Turkish Students Association.
“They have some issues and maybe that is why so many are running for these seats,” Blackford said.
TSA President Halim Tansung said that although eight members of his organization are running for different graduate Senate seats, the TSA is not involved in their campaigns.
“They have talked to me about it, but they are running the show on their own,” Tansung said. “I know they were concerned about a lot of things and maybe they felt they were not represented adequately and so they got together in their respective schools and decided to run.”
Former TSA President Levent Yanik, who is running for a Columbian School of Arts and Sciences graduate seat, said members of the organization did not have a large-scale plan to seek election. But he said he knows many of the members were concerned the SA was not addressing their needs and those of other foreign students who are studying in GW’s graduate schools.
“It wasn’t planned, but some of us discussed problems we had with the SA and getting more involved in the SA,” Yanik said. “There’s something that needs to be done (for students in our situation).”
The race for Columbian School undergraduate Senate seats also is hotly contested. Fourteen people are running for four CSAS undergraduate seats, one more than ran last spring. Some candidates who are vying for the seats said they feel the large number of candidates will make the race more competitive.
“The election could go many different ways because of the number of candidates,” said candidate Eddie Lara. “I think there will be more of a focus on grassroots level campaigning and that’s what will probably make the difference. Good word of mouth will also help things along as well.”
“It will definitely heighten the race,” said Julie Radocchia, another candidate. “Hopefully issues will still be at the forefront, which is how it should be and how I think it will be, but many of (the candidates) see the same problems and seek similar solutions because there are only so many solutions. There may be some redundancy in the answers, but it should definitely be interesting.”
SA presidentEd Meinert
SA executive vice presidentDerek Grosso
CSAS undergraduate senatorCraig Carroll
CSAS graduate senatorJon Rodeback
ESIA undergraduate senatorAlli DeSevo
SBPM undergraduate senatorSarah Franklin
SPHHS undergraduate senatorErnest Eugene
SBPM graduate senatorBaran Bursaligil
John Linder Jr.
SEAS undergraduate senatorRida Barakat
Howard Ian Sherman
SEAS graduate senatorJ.P. Blackford
Undergraduate at large senatorDavid Burt
Graduate at large senatorYasemin Akduman
PB executive chairAnthony Rizzuto
Ruth Abu Sahid
PB executive vice chairShreema Sanghvi
MCGB undergraduate seatAndrew Malowitz
Source: Joint Elections Committee