It begins again.
With the Student Association elections more than five weeks away, seven students have announced they will be seeking to run for president in early March.
The group includes those who call themselves SA outsiders, veteran members of the SA, former senators, current senators and members of the executive branch. The diverse group of students running for office may not agree on much, but they all said they are running to serve students.
SA presidential candidates include the SA’s executive vice president, Morgan Corr, a junior; sophomore Sen. Nick D’Addario (CCAS-U); Cherry Tree yearbook Editor in Chief Caitlin Bevin Doherty, a junior; Nate Hayward, a junior and director of the Multicultural Greek Council; SA Vice President of Public Affairs sophomore Casey Pond; 2005 Colonial Cabinet member sophomore Robert Ryan Sangster; and junior Lamar Thorpe, a member of the Joint Committee of Faculty and Students, who ran last year.
More candidates may announce that they’re running in the coming weeks. Any student may run for SA president, but to guarantee a name on the ballot a student must receive 2 percent of the student body’s signatures, which last year was approximately 390 students.
While last year’s election was plagued with violations of the Joint Elections Committee charter, it is still unclear which rules will govern this year’s election. A new SA constitution would have installed sweeping changes to the SA election process such as requiring all candidates to announce a vice presidential candidate and giving the SA Student Court the authority to decide violations of the election rules.
But SA Vice President of Judicial and Legislate Affairs Jeff Goodman, a junior, has filed a suit against the SA claiming that the new constitution was never passed in the Senate because of confusion regarding the number of votes it required for passage.
The Student Court will be hearing the case on Monday night. If the court rules in favor of Goodman and nullifies passage of the new constitution as voted by the student body in last November’s special election, the JEC would use the same rules as last year to govern this year’s election.
Many candidates are expecting the new constitution to pass and have already announced running mates for vice president.
Corr will be running with sophomore Angela Chang; D’Addario will be running with freshman Kristen Walker; Doherty will be running with sophomore Christina “Mo” Mauricio; Sangster will be running with junior Josh Lasky; and Thorpe will be running with Kirk Haldeman. Pond has not finalized a VP candidate and said he would wait until the result of the student court case to see if he has to choose a running mate. Hayward also has not chosen a vice presidential candidate.
Corr said he will look to expand on the work he has done as EVP by continuing to fight for student representation on the Board of Trustees and focusing on improving students’ rights across the campus. Corr said he looks forward to a clean election.
D’Addario said that if elected SA president he would fight for medical amnesty and would look to obtain more direct student input on SA issues.
Doherty, a former publicity aide for SA President Kris Hart, said the SA needs “less talking and more addressing students’ real concerns” and vowed to bring legitimacy back to the SA.
Hayward, a member of the Pi Delta Psi fraternity, said he would “rejuvenate student interest” and would like to see the University diversify the majors offered by adding an African-American studies major and more Asian studies programs.
“Not many people focus on making the community better, and that’s one of the most rewarding things about being a student leader,” Hayward said.
Pond emphasized his experience working at the highest level of the SA executive branch this year with current SA President Audai Shakour.
“I really want to bridge the gap between students and their leaders,” Pond said. “I have a lot of (SA) experience, but I’m also involved in a lot of student organizations on campus.”
Sangster said he and Lasky will be “relentless” in their pursuit of improving GW student government.
Thorpe announced his candidacy for SA president at last week’s Black Town Hall Meeting and said he is going to reach out to as many students as he can during the campaign to listen to their concerns. He said he would expand the Student Services and Advocacy Center, an initiative by Shakour that gives students advice on problems they have with the University.