Alfredo Granados for SA Vice President

The vice president of the Student Association occupies a unique role – simultaneously acting as a lieutenant to the SA president and serving as the chief of the SA Senate. To be successful in this position, whoever occupies it needs both experience with the institution and the ability to be a visible and vibrant leader of the community.

While both candidates presented solid platforms and compelling reasons for running, one demonstrated a particular connection with students and a unique passion for advocating for the interests of anyone whose voice is not being heard.

When students go to the virtual polls later this week, they should cast their ballots for Alfredo Granados for VP.

One of Granados’ most appealing qualities is that he listens to students and seems to possess an innate desire to do something about the issues that students care most about. In the endorsement interview, he enthusiastically talked about his vision for how to improve the lives of students who participate in the ROTC program, as well as his interest in bringing people of different cultures together by the SA putting on cultural events.

He also has a wide range of interests and has a willingness to be an advocate for students even regarding issues that he has not dealt with yet. When asked in our endorsement meeting whether he had talked to the athletic department about club sports’ lack of access to resources, he thoughtfully said that while he had not, he was open to doing so and visibly interested in the issue. Similarly, when asked what his position was on the idea that there should be voting student representation on the Board of Trustees, he also seemed open and interested in advocating for it. These are just a couple of examples of Granados’ ability to be responsive to students’ varying needs.

Granados also came prepared with concrete ideas on how to make the SA work better. His experience as a senator on the financial reform special committee and the diversity and inclusion assembly has given him insight into a variety of issues that the SA works on. It’s clear that he has opinions on how to make the SA less bureaucratic and more productive for the students it represents. In the endorsement interview, he proposed that the SA improve visibility and accountability of committees in his capacity leading the senate as VP. He plans to do this by creating a “student body engagement advisory group” composed of community members and student organization members, who would relay specific areas of improvement that the SA and the finance committee should tackle. This group would give students and community members direct access to the work of the SA.

Granados’ energetic and personable campaign to some extent belies how extensively he told the editorial board about his comfort working behind the scenes. This points to an ability to vocally rally students and represent their interests while also being able to grind through the minutiae of being an elected SA leader. He demonstrated that he would be able to not just be able to make students feel seen and heard but also have the skills and capacity to sit in a room with administrators to lay out how University policy could be changed based on students’ concerns.

His distance from the more dramatic elements of the SA is also a point in his favor. He was not a major player in the frankly embarrassing kerfuffle over first-year senate seats late last year, an episode that underscored why students scratch their heads and roll their eyes at the SA. Knowing how the SA works is necessary but not sufficient to being a successful VP – Granados has demonstrated that he has a functional understanding of the institution without being caught up in the playing make-believe that often hallmarks the SA. This is a balance that is especially crucial for the VP role, which exists as a bridge between the two main branches of the SA.

The other candidate in the VP race, Yan Xu, has excellent policies and a sterling record of experience. He has effectively managed the allocation of more than $1 million in student organization funds as SA finance committee chair, and his platform relied heavily on this. The editorial board felt that this focus was important, but a broader platform was better-suited to the role. The GW community should be grateful for Xu’s effective leadership, past and present, on funding and allocation for student organizations. Many of his ideas, like cutting venue reservation costs for student organizations, can and should be implemented.

Students have the benefit of choosing between two skilled, passionate and experienced candidates for VP. A race between two extremely qualified individuals makes both candidates sharper and challenges them both to put their best foot forward when asking for students’ votes. In this race between the greater of two goods, students should support Alfredo Granados this week.

The editorial board consists of Hatchet staff members and operates separately from the newsroom. This week’s staff editorial was written by opinions editor Andrew Sugrue and contributing opinions editor Shreeya Aranake based on discussions with culture editor Anna Boone, contributing sports editor Nuria Diaz, design editor Grace Miller and copy editor Jaden DiMauro.

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