The Student Association run-off election presents students with a clear choice between two polar opposite candidates.
Morgan Corr represents the so-called SA insider camp while Lamar Thorpe brings some SA experience with a fresh outlook and enthusiasm for student government. It is a choice between a new direction and more of the same. Given the Senate’s poor record under Corr’s stewardship, and the forward-thinking attitude and proven record of Thorpe, The Hatchet enthusiastically endorses Lamar Thorpe in the SA presidential run-off.
Last year, the run-off election was between another entrenched SA insider and outsider candidate who appeared incompetent to assume the job. At the time, The Hatchet chose not to endorse anyone in the run-off.
This year is different. Thorpe – whom we endorsed in last week’s general election – has the composure and pragmatism to succeed in areas where current President Audai Shakour has failed. Thorpe’s enthusiasm could bring purpose back to the SA, while his pragmatism could help him successfully advocate for student concerns.
Thorpe will need his enthusiasm to carry him through the election, but also must learn to temper his rhetoric as president. As the architect of an ill-conceived, poorly attended march earlier this semester on Georgetown demanding a basketball match, Thorpe perpetuated a Georgetown inferiority complex to which most students do not subscribe.
Thorpe distinguished himself in the election last week by garnering the second-highest number of votes without the added votes that come from running on a slate. Slates are a great way to put together a diverse group of students that can pull out votes from varying constituencies. Unlike real political parties, however, there are few policy differences among the slates. They allow candidates to hide behind a general platform rather than run on their own principles and convictions. Real GW, Corr’s slate for this year, seems to be a reincarnation of his slate from last year, the Coalition for Reform, which disintegrated by October.
The problem with Corr’s candidacy is not that he has SA experience. No sensible person should ever portray experience in an organization as a reason for an individual not to lead that organization. Rather, it’s the fact that for all of Corr’s time in the SA, he claims few accomplishments other than, perhaps, an ability to galvanize voters.
Success in the run-off election for either candidate will rely on producing voters. Committed activists from Corr’s slate will probably be able to churn out a similar number of votes in the run-off election. Thorpe will need to pull in all his voters from the first election as well as votes from the support bases of other candidates.
Thorpe ran on his record and on principle. He worked without the support of a huge slate and student bureaucracy to get out his name and his message to students. Lamar Thorpe is not a panacea for all of the SA’s woes. He is, however, a poised and confident student who understands the limitations of the SA, its current problems and has articulated a policy to bring back purpose and integrity to the SA.