Two more candidates entered the race for the Student Association’s No. 2 spot, bringing the total executive branch contenders to eight after registration closed Friday.
Efforts to preserve student space and expand career services have dominated platforms this spring. Candidates have also pledged to broaden SA outreach and streamline student organization funding – issues that have appeared annualy on election platforms.
Junior Abby Bergren, the first female to enter the race, said she would fight to expand student space on campus, create an electronic database of grants and fellowships aligned with career services and give greater freedom to graduate student groups, in line with many other candidates’ platforms this election season.
“GWork is incredibly successful in terms of finding internships, but there’s a lack of availability of different financial and academic resources,” Bergren said. She hopes to work with the Career Center to expand the database to include grants, fellowships, departmental scholarship opportunities and research assistant positions.
Bergren said she would also prioritize graduate student outreach, particularly to those in student organizations.
“We can’t turn a blind eye to them,” Bergren said, explaining that, in the past, this population of students has felt spurned by the SA. She said she would look at involving more graduate students in programming efforts or creating a committee exclusively charged with soliciting feedback from these students.
Regarding her role as leader of the SA senate, Bergren said she would adopt an “all hands on deck” approach to encourage senators to step up their commitment to the organization.
“I see the role of EVP as bridging the gap between the executive and the senators. I want everyone to be involved,” Bergren said.
Bergren is the vice president of College Democrats, the treasurer of the GW Band Program and a member of Colonial Brass.
Junior Austin Brewster avowed to take a different approach to the position than other candidates. Rather than “pushing” his own agenda, he said he would focus on concerns as they arise from the student body.
“The position of the executive vice president is to preside over the senate. I felt it not necessary to come in with an agenda,” he said.
Brewster said he intends to utilize his future connections with administrators to support the efforts of senators and cabinet members rather than his own ideas.
“I’m more of a passive leader. I try my best to support those I’m supervising,” Brewster said.
He said his primary goal is to create a centralized tutoring service to offer academic support across departments, potentially within the Marvin Center fourth or fifth floor. Under the existing model, students must seek out tutoring from their specific schools, which Brewster said deters students from taking advantage of the program.
He also wants to create a nationwide community service network for students and alumni to connect over the summer to volunteer in their communities. Brewster could not provide specific steps for launching the project, but said he would start by polling students to identify prime locations for service sites.
“GW is a service institute and we pride ourselves on the community service we do,” Brewster said.
Brewster is the president of the leadership-focused Black Men’s Initiative, an officer in the Black Student Union and a representative in the GW School of Business’s undergraduate programs office.
Five students will battle for president and three for executive vice president. The Joint Elections Committee will work to verify candidates’ applications, in addition to their academic and disciplinary records, by Feb. 13. Postering for campaigns begins Feb. 15. Student Association elections will be held Feb. 22 and Feb. 23.