Few students have time to meet and interview all the candidates for SA president, and candidates don’t have time to meet every student for a personal interrogation. As a Hatchet columnist I had the chance to do so. I’m not a student organization endorsing a candidate who will help them next year; I’m a single student who wants candidates who will look out for GW as a whole. I’m writing this for all the individuals who care about this election.
Because no candidate is perfect, I will not select anyone for endorsement. Instead, I’m stating which candidates have potential and which don’t. At the least, I hope students vote for one of the candidates I believe has some worth.
Sadly enough, minutes away from this column’s submission I was informed that one of the best candidates, Hilary Golston, dropped out of the race. Regardless, I feel that Hilary deserves mention as an amazing candidate.
I’d never heard of Hilary until her speech at the College Democrats endorsement hearing. It dripped of high school style political rhetoric. When I met her I called her out, asking if she was just another politician. She was hurt, and that stuck with me. She didn’t think of these elections as a game and truly thought herself the best person for the job. Her dedication reminded me of friends in the military who enlist purely to help their country. Hilary’s seriousness, feasible goals and understanding of issues made her a very strong candidate.
Audai Shakour is original; his ideas are fresh but also feasible. His proposal for a Web site for swapping books, sharing carpools home and professor evaluations is something that no other candidate mentioned. It’s simple, but it would have an immediate impact on students. Audai also promises to halve the executive budget to $35,000 with proceeds going to student organizations, something that only Hilary also proposed. He’s a great candidate with realistic ideas; if he wins students will see tangible results.
In hopes of preserving my journalistic integrity, I must admit that Audai is my fraternity brother, but before I began this column I approached him and told him that if he wants me not to write it, I wouldn’t. He agreed to let me write it even if it had ultimately led to an unfavorable review.
Henry Roosevelt is great and an important candidate to me. He’s an average student who came into his interview with a hickie; a reminder that other candidates take themselves too seriously and are overachievers, not the norm. Sadly, Henry’s loyalty to the crew team would prevent him from making the position of SA president his first priority.
C.J. Calloway is well spoken and armed with good ideas, and I see why he’s considered a frontrunner. Sadly, his ideas sound less like feasible goals and more like a lofty political agenda. Also, despite being a senator, he stated that he “wasn’t a big proponent of legislation.” When a senator says he’s not big on legislation, he’s saying he’s not big on doing his job.
Next is Lamar Thorpe, a nice guy with decent ideas who transferred in this year and spent five years in the Navy. I can’t see him understanding GW students. Furthermore, his angst would make it difficult for him to work with the administration. To quote him, “Every time someone says that ‘we’re working with administration’ they’re saying that ‘we’re working against students.'”
Finally, are three candidates who leave me begging students to “vote for anyone but them.”
Ryan Luther is a joke with nothing better to do. People signing his petition are sad examples about how to some the SA is a gag.
Jon Ostrower’s platform consists primarily of ideas I heard from everyone. More to the point, he ran a dirty campaign and was active in reporting other candidates’ violations to the JEC. I can’t respect a candidate like that.
Lastly is Ben Traverse: a politician who takes himself too seriously. I started Ben’s interview like I started Hilary’s and asked him to convince me that his reputation as an arrogant pompous politician was undeserved. Unlike Hilary, he couldn’t; two minutes in he told me about his “70 pieces of legislation.” I came into that interview thinking Ben was a politician clueless about what being a student is like. I left thinking the same thing. I can’t deny that he knows his stuff but I can’t consciously consider someone that out of touch.
That’s it. Those are the candidates and my reflections on them. I wish everyone the best of luck, and hope that whoever wins exceeds my expectations. Get out there and vote.
-The writer, a sophomore majoring in international affairs, is a Hatchet columnist.