Endorsement: Vote Vishal Aswani in runoff for SA President

Neither Kevin Kozlowski nor Vishal Aswani has any exceedingly noteworthy achievements under his belt. But the Student Association senate has not historically been the place to do that. Evaluating them more heavily on their leadership capabilities, drive to effect change within the University bureaucracy and thoughts on how best to represent the average student’s needs, this page found only one candidate to lead next year’s student government. After meeting with and re-evaluating the remaining two candidates, The Hatchet endorses Vishal Aswani for the SA presidency.

Aswani, a senator from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, has a track record of advocating for his constituents by working with officials in his school on some small-scaled projects. He has reached out to engineering students on the issue of graduate teaching assistants’ difficulty speaking English. Aswani was also part of the effort to retool the school’s advising system, pushing for an online component.

Several of his goals as SA president could be feasibly accomplished next year and earn plaudits from this page. Aswani wants to create an online test bank, an easy-to-grasp “Student Bill of Rights” and a list of corporate sponsorships student organizations can use to fund events. However, other initiatives – especially those expounded upon on his campaign Web site – are unrealistic. The SA president cannot likely mandate that the University reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by a fixed percentage, nor can he call for the abolition of a food-service provider to operate J Street.

Kozlowski also advances several ideas that should not be top priorities for the student’s chief executive. Pleas from GW’s student government will not unilaterally bring a presidential candidate to Foggy Bottom; D.C. is far from a battleground state. Additionally, the SA president ought not spend his time promoting self-defense classes the University Police Department already puts on. There are more serious problems across the University than UPD’s publicity woes.

The two-term senator is not without his positive plans, though. It is unfair that underclassmen should be mandated to eat in J Street when the venue is not even open on the weekends, and this inequity should be rectified, as he suggests. Students not identifying as heterosexual should have a resource center, just as those of the multicultural community do. Unfortunately, many of Kozlowski’s other ideas are often too steeped in internal SA affairs.

Aswani steers clear of focusing excessively on the organization he wants to lead. The average student is likely not affected by Senate seats going unfilled. To the contrary, the average student is interested in seeing real, tangible change continue to stem from the SA presidency next year. With that in mind, Vishal Aswani is the most qualified candidate to effectively represent the student body on issues that matter to us.

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