Student Association President-elect Roger Kapoor said the turbulence of the SA election leaves him even more committed to serving GW’s student body.
“It’s been a lot of ups and downs, but in a situation like this you need to look at the positives,” Kapoor said, adding that the election sparked needed debate on campus.
“The debate was what made all three of us strong,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to becoming SA president.”
After winning the election with 57 percent of the vote, Kapoor was removed from the race for alleged campaign spending violations but put back on the ticket later that day when the SA Student Court overturned the Joint Elections Committee decision. The JEC had voted to remove Kapoor from the ticket a week before for other violations – a decision the Student Court also overruled.
“It’s been an emotional roller coaster as far as charges coming at me, but they were not accurate,” Kapoor said.
Kapoor said he plans to put his campaign platform to action by bringing the SA to the Mount Vernon Campus, increasing dialogue with students and holding the Senate accountable to constituents.
“I want to tackle the issues I addressed in my campaign and change the SA into something that really affects students’ lives,” he said.
Kapoor said his first order of business will be to reach out to the students at Mount Vernon. Kapoor made Mount Vernon outreach a top issue in his campaign, and he said he intends to stand by his promises.
“I plan to hold one-third of my office hours at Mount Vernon,” he said. “I’d like to do the same for meetings as well, and I hope that others will see how important it is to include Mount Vernon in SA business.”
Kapoor said he plans to appoint a freshman to his executive board “because their voices need to be heard.” He said he also plans to push to improve security at GW, mentioning Aston Hall and its surroundings as an area that needs improvement.
Kapoor said he has remained cheerful despite JEC hearings that almost resulted in his removal from the ballot.
“We’re all human,” he said. “Everyone that ran was, and still is, committed to improving the quality of life for GW students. With that in mind, I don’t think that all that stuff from the campaign will be a factor next year. It will come down to how well I do the job.”
With that aside, Kapoor described his biggest challenge as improving communication between students and the SA. Kapoor said he plans to publish a monthly newsletter and make a monthly radio address on WRGW to reach out to students.
“I also want to deliver a `State of the SA’ speech, which will be open to everyone,” Kapoor said.
Kapoor said he will visit every residence hall on campus to open lines of communication and reduce student apathy toward the SA.
Kapoor said he is disappointed by what he described as low voter turnout. About 2,300 students voted in this year’s election, 291 fewer than last year, according to JEC numbers.
“Another thing I want to change is the voting process,” Kapoor said. “The lines were just too long, and consequently voter turnout was disappointing.”
Kapoor, who currently works as a community facilitator in The Schenley, said he is looking forward to working with GW students.
“I feel that being a CF helped me with respect to listening to students’ complaints and ideas,” he said. “To be an effective leader, your ears have to be as big as your mouth, and my CF experience has prepared me well.”
Kapoor said he looks forward to working with next year’s Senate. SA President David Burt has voiced disappointment with Senators’ commitment to students this year.
“If the Senate is unconcerned, open communication will illuminate that problem,” Kapoor said. “I won’t be the one to point fingers.”
Most importantly, Kapoor said he wants to express his appreciation for all those who helped him.
“I want to thank the people that worked on my campaign, and of course the students,” he said. “Without them, I wouldn’t be here, and I’m really touched by the support we had.”
-Kate Stepan contributed to this report