The campaigning is over, and now the real work begins.
In last week’s runoff election, Student Association President-elect junior Lamar Thorpe beat opponent junior Morgan Corr by 186 votes for the SA’s top spot. On May 5, Thorpe and Executive Vice President-elect Josh Lasky will officially be sworn into their respective offices, but they’ve already begun planning for their jobs.
Since the conclusion of the election last week, Thorpe and Lasky have been meeting with supporters and this year’s SA leaders to finalize the direction of next year’s executive branch. Thorpe said the primary goal of next year’s executive is to revamp the SA’s image.
“I am going to restore purpose and integrity of the SA,” Thorpe said.
To do this, Thorpe said he plans to implement a “Colonial Compact” consisting of fairness, opportunity and community. Elements of his plan include a new SA election charter, online syllabi for GW classes and condoms in every residence hall.
“The things that are in the Colonial Compact are tangible,” Thorpe said. “The other things are long-term goals.”
In addition his Colonial Compact, Thorpe said he will continue what he called the positive initiatives of this year’s SA, such as the Student Services Advocacy Center, which will be renamed the Helpful Hippos Program.
Thorpe has also begun to name some of his office assistants and nominees for his cabinet, including chief of staff Kirk Haldeman, a sophomore, who unsuccessfully ran as Thorpe’s executive vice presidential candidate.
“(Kirk) knows that he will remain dedicated to students even without the EVP title,” Thorpe wrote on his campaign Web site. “Now we are all moving forward.”
Thorpe also nominated presidential candidates sophomore Elliot Rozenberg and junior Nate Hayward to the cabinet; Rozenberg would head the Helpful Hippos Program and Hayward would be the director the diversity affairs cabinet post. All cabinet nominees are subject to a two-thirds approval by the SA Senate. Thorpe is accepting applications in the SA office for other executive branch positions.
Throughout Shakour’s presidency this year, issues of transparency and failed initiatives have been major sources of contention, Thorpe said. Thorpe said he intends to increase transparency and avoid the downfalls of the Shakour presidency, and he believes his lack of SA experience will have no effect on his ability to lead.
“It is ridiculous to say you need SA experience to be president,” Thorpe said. “SA experience has given us pretty much nothing.”
Like Thorpe, Lasky hopes to change the SA’s reputation and decrease tension while fostering discussion in his role as EVP and Senate chair.
“(We must) have students create expectations for the SA,” Lasky, a junior, said. “Right now, students don’t have them.”
This year’s other three candidates for SA president also have plans to work in the Thorpe executive. Thorpe said he has spoken with Corr about an official position that may deal with student representation on the University Board of Trustees, but he said no position has been formally offered yet.
Corr said last week that he plans to remain an active member in the SA by helping his Real GW slate winners, many of who will be starting in the SA Senate later this month.
Sophomore presidential candidates Nick D’Addario and Casey Pond both said they plan on applying for a position in Thorpe’s cabinet.
-Brandon Butler contributed to this report.