Last week this page asserted that while it came after careful, long and difficult deliberations, Omar Woodard was clearly the candidate best positioned to return student excitement to and interest in the Student Association. After the events of this week, it is equally clear that it is no longer a difficult decision to make.
In a race of nine candidates, Woodard garnered more than one-third of all votes – nearly 350 more than his nearest competitors. This fact manifests Woodard’s ability to interact with all types of students and get them excited about the SA and voting. Woodard’s ideas also help set him apart from his run-off competition. Woodard’s initiatives – such as the residence hall renewal project, a comprehensive review of Colonial Cash, an online class wait list system and a review of the student Code of Conduct – show that he has the capacity both to think outside the box and to understand how to initiate realistic policy.
Woodard also has a potential to be a commanding, charismatic presence on campus. He is an individual that people would be excited to see waiting in line for an hour for a GW basketball game or at another event on campus. Above nearly all else, it is so important for a SA president to have a larger-than-life presence while simultaneously being an individual people feel comfortable approaching. Woodard excels in this area.
Lee Roupas is an honorable public servant on campus. Roupas has put forth some excellent policy proposals and has been an active campus leader. While he has contributed some new and exciting ideas to the campaign, he also represents the legacy of establishment candidates. The SA does not need someone to perpetuate the way things are, but rather someone who understands that students crave change.
Woodard, however, cannot become complacent. Woodard must work as tirelessly as he has for the initial election in the run off to ensure students come out to vote. Nearly 800 fewer students voted in last year’s run-off election compared with the initial vote. The SA needs a change, and Woodard must ensure he is in position to see it through.