TGA Endorses: Two Chicks, One Georgetown for GUSA

Due to election commission rules, all write-in candidates must be entered like this: "HotChick_ChickenMadness" or else your voice will not be counted.

SUMMARY

  1. Sources report that despite the cross-endorsement, Reed and Courtney are members of Team Crenushe and are running a “spoiler” campaign to split the write-in vote so Enushe and Chris aren’t embarrassed by losing to two chicken sandwiches.
  2. The election commission has refused to expand the number of write-in spaces available on the ballot, thereby favoring their friends Enushe and Chris and allowing Team Crenushe’s spoiler ticket to split the write-in vote.
  3. Enushe will be skipping 720 hours of GUSA work and be in violation of GUSA election policy by refusing to remain in D.C. for the summer in order attend an optional New York internship which was kept hidden until after the deadline for other candidates to file had passed.
  4. GUSA insiders Enushe and Chris cynically flipped a coin to determine which position each would take and have dismissed requests to either flip the ticket or for Enushe to resign and be replaced with someone who is willing to fulfill their responsibilities as mandated by GUSA by-laws.
  5. Crenushe has promised everything to everyone and lack priorities, nor have they explained what they would do when the promises they’ve made to various competing interest groups start to conflict with one another.
  6. Electing an inanimate object to student-body President would be history-making and the first in Hilltop History, if not the entire nation.  It would result in national and international news coverage and cause Georgetown to go viral.
  7. A vote for Hot Chick and Chicken Madness is not a vote against Crenushe, but instead a vote for better representation and an end to GUSA’s self-serving business as usual politics and insider domination.
  8. Hot Chick and Chicken Madness are endorsed by groups from across the political and ideological spectrum.  They are the consensus candidates of the studentry.
  9. If the Hot Chick & Chicken Madness ticket wins, rather than invalidating them and elevating Crenushe to the GUSA Executive, the Senate should call for a new election in order to allow other candidates to campaign for the office.
  10. The Two Chicks, One Georgetown ticket has promised to not run in a subsequent election if more than one ticket is on the ballot.


Intro

When midnight struck two Thursdays ago and the Crenushe campaign’s supporters began putting up posters in Red Square, it struck us as odd no other tickets were represented.  The next day we learned in The Hoya the only other folks to file the necessary paperwork with the election commission in order to be put on the ballot had “forgotten” campaign season began and both candidates on the ticket were out of town.  These two would later email in saying upon their return they hoped to “re-energize” their campaign team into getting things started.

At that moment we realized Enushe and Chris were probably going to be GUSA’s next President and Vice President.  We posted our prediction that the ill-fated opposition didn’t stand a chance against the Crenushe juggernaut, and encouraged them to go ahead and work on finding good summer internships instead. 

It seems they took TGA’s advice because a few days later they dropped out of the race.

Over the next week two different campaigns flirted with running as write-ins.  One withdrew while the other transformed into the Hot Chick-Chicken Madness ticket, which as noted in The Voice, appears to be leading Crenushe in its number of supporters, if Facebook statistics are anything to go by, but which the latest Hoya poll shows  are running a close second.

But on Sunday Reed Howard and Courtney Maduike started sending out emails saying they, too, were also running as write-ins, and yesterday officially announced, despite missing more than 2/3 of the campaign season and having previously committed to Team Crenushe.  At first we were fine with it, the more the merrier, though we found it a bit odd since after all they were key members of Enushe and Chris's campaign team.

But then we learned a few disturbing facts.

First, GUSA election commissioners started informing people only one line on the ballot would be allowed for write-ins, no matter how many write-in tickets were running. 

This would mean no preferential voting in which the ticket with the lowest number of votes gets disqualified and the second choice of its voters get re-allotted based on preference to those still in contention. 

The result is this year’s GUSA election will lose its semblance of legitimacy and no longer be democratic since only Crenushe and one write-in can be chosen, making what should be a two or three-round race into solely a one-round contest. 

Ultimately, it means the election will be less fair and is stacked in favor of GUSA insiders. 

If the election by-laws did not require instant runoff voting, we wouldn’t be complaining.  However, they do, and the election commission appears to be violating their own policy and past precedent in a manner favorable to the establishment ticket of Enushe and Chris.

Second, we have been told by people in the know that Reed and Courtney are running a spoiler campaign, the sole purpose of which is to split the write-in vote.  Each of them knows they have no chance of winning.  Every informed election observer knows this too.  They have no website, no real platform, no budget, few supporters, didn’t bother to attend the informational townhall or any pre-election informational session, haven’t done any door-to-door campaigning, and as of yet have not mounted a thoughtful effort. 

The fact is they didn’t even bother announcing their ticket until after the Hot Chick-Chicken Madness ticket gained traction and started to look like it was going to beat Enushe and Chris.

So why are they doing it?

Because, our sources tell us, Enushe and Chris are worried they’re going to lose the election to two chicken sandwiches.  To avoid this outcome, they have promised high-level positions to Reed and Courtney if they’ll help them bleed off some write-in votes from their main competitors: Hot Chick and Chicken Madness. 

Crenushe Vice Presidential Candidate Chris Fisk, along with former Crenushe campaign adviser Reed Howard, and current Crenushe campaign Co-director for Policy Olivia Hinerfeld eating blueberry-flavored cotton candy.

Crenushe Vice Presidential Candidate Chris Fisk, along with former Crenushe campaign adviser Reed Howard, and current Crenushe campaign Co-director for Policy Olivia Hinerfeld eating blueberry-flavored cotton candy.

We understand why they’re doing so.  In Enushe and Chris's position, we might even do the same.  After all, it would be incredibly embarrassing to lose to some pieces of poultry.  Enushe and Chris don’t want to be known as “that ticket” and have an asterisk next to their names in the annals of GUSA history. 

They are also probably worried about the resulting media attention.  Georgetown would surely get some national and international news coverage. 

Satirical tickets at various colleges and universities in the past, when victorious, have always made the news, but to our knowledge, none has ever elected an inanimate object. 

If the two tasty and juicy chicken sandwiches win, expect to see Georgetown going viral and Hot Chick and Chicken Madness becoming national celebrities. 

***

Whether anyone believes us or not, from the time the election started we planned on ultimately issuing a serious endorsement to the candidates we thought would be best for Georgetown.  This is a serious editorial, so now let’s talk seriously about the only two serious tickets running in this election.

Enushe and Chris

On the face of it the studentry may think the Crenushe ticket is the only one to vote for this year.  After all, they’re the only serious candidates who breathe oxygen, and both have GUSA experience.  Enushe is Speaker of the Senate while Chris is a Deputy Chief of Staff.  They have a detailed, if excessive, platform they’re running on, and have clearly done impressive work organizing their supporters. 

We were also heartened when they reached out and met with TGA last month in order to solicit our views and support.  And they do say the right things about free speech, acknowledging in their platform what they call Georgetown’s “censorship culture” and “hostile climate for ideological debate [which] also hinder[s] student dialogue on campus.”  We sincerely appreciate their willingness to join us in taking a stand against those who want to silence speech or punish people who hold dissenting opinions.  For that they should be applauded.

We are a little disappointed, however, that their platform is not unlike a black hole which captures everything that gets close.  As we stated last week, there appear to be 400-500 different initiatives and promises across 20+ policy areas.  It appears they’ve gone through the last few years of back issues of The Hoya and The Voice and made a note whenever someone complained about something, then made sure to include it in their platform as something they’ll deliver on. 

The truth is GUSA only has so much influence and time, so realistically, there are only a few things which can be done in a meaningful way each term.  Rather than be upfront about this fact and lay out what the priorities in their platform are, Enushe and Chris have cynically attempted to be everything to everyone.  Not only have they failed to prioritize, but they have also not stated what they would do when the various interests groups they are appealing to, and to which they are making promises, start conflicting with one another.    

We were also a little taken aback when we discovered Enushe and Chris flipped a coin to determine who would lead the ticket.  We know they didn’t originally set out to campaign as a single ticket and planned to run individually, so the coin flip is a clear indication they both wanted the top job. 

But it may also be read as a cynical political move on their part, because it tells us they figured they were each other’s greatest competition and decided it was better to have the fallback title of “Vice President” on the resume than nothing at all, which would have happened to one of them if they ran separately and given the voters an actual choice.

But the thing which bothers us most was finding out that despite being obligated under section 15.01 of the Election Commission policy to remain at Georgetown during the summer to fulfill her GUSA responsibilities, Enushe is refusing to do so in order to take part in an internship with an investment bank in New York City. 

Worse is she kept this secret until after the deadline for candidates to file had closed.

Now the Senate can approve her absence, but according to the GUSA by-laws, it must be for “reasons deemed necessary by majority vote of the Senate.”  This is generally understood to be “emergency reasons,” such as having to do with health or a serious family matter that comes up unexpectedly after the election, and not because someone wants to do an optional internship they knew about prior to running for the office. 

If the Senate, which is stacked with Team Crenushe supporters, approves, then a precedent would be set and there would be no excuse going into the future for any GUSA President or Vice President to be denied the opportunity to skip out on their responsibilities to the studentry to do any internship, anywhere, including going back home in another state to work in the family business for the summer, or even to go study abroad.

As has been noted elsewhere, this is a crucial time in the life of the University and this summer is when the twenty-year campus plan will begin to be negotiated.  And it is the only period when GUSA President and Vice President work full-time on behalf of students.  Enushe, who is asking the studentry to elect her as their representative, will be absent for nearly all of this time. 

Just how much of her term will she be missing?  Consider first that the GUSA Executive takes office in late March.  They essentially have until the middle of December, after which though technically in office, they become lame ducks.  That gives them about nine months to carry out their goals. 

For six of those months classes are in session, meaning the amount of time which can be devoted to solving problems is severely limited.  That is, after all, the whole reason behind the policy requiring the GUSA Executive to remain at Georgetown during the summer, where they are given free housing and a stipend so they can work full-time on behalf of students to get things done and prepare for the upcoming school year.

It’s hard to quantify how much she’ll be skipping out on, but when you look at the hours, as opposed to days, and consider the summer is a period of full-time work, it wouldn’t surprise us to learn the number represents greater than 33% of her term. 

Enushe has said she will be working 9AM-9PM, six days a week in her internship, meaning she won’t have any time left for GUSA.  That happens to be 72 hours a week, for ten weeks.  Enushe could choose to apply those 720 hours to GUSA and in service to students, which is expected of a GUSA President.

But she’s not willing to do so.

Now we’re proud of Enushe for getting her internship.  And as we mentioned before, we think she’s a really wonderful person. 

But this isn’t a popularity contest. 

It’s about what’s best for Georgetown.

We, and others, have previously requested that Enushe acknowledge her conflict of interest in this situation and just withdraw from the race and let Chris take the lead while someone else fills in the slot for Vice President.  She could obviously still make an impact and serve Georgetown with an appointed position. 

Yet she has refused to do so.

Chris is a funny, personable guy who we like a lot.  He would make a great GUSA President and would be the first Latino in the positon, which would be history-making.  For this reason, we’ve also advocated for them flipping the ticket, though last night during the townhall Enushe and Chris dismissed that option as well. 

Now we can appreciate Chris being loyal.  But their joint refusal to make any changes that would benefit the studentry shows us they care more about scoring the positions and titles than they do about adequately representing their fellow Hoyas.

For this, and the other reasons we previously stated, we cannot endorse the Crenushe campaign.  The candidates have clearly demonstrated through their actions they care more about themselves and their resumes than about serving the students of Georgetown.

With insiders like Enushe and Chris, it appears it is still business as usual in GUSA.

***

Hot Chick and Chicken Madness

When the Two Chicks, One Georgetown ticket began, we all knew it was a joke. 

But then something strange happened.

The campaign quickly began to garner support from a dissatisfied studentry, including intelligent commentary from a wide-cross section people arguing that writing-in Hot Chick and Chicken Madness wasn’t just about electing two pieces of poultry, but about sending a much needed message to GUSA that things needed to change.

So we decided to give them a second look and in conjunction with other parties list for you here the reasons to vote for the Two Chicks, One Georgetown ticket.

First, a vote for Hot Chick and Chicken Madness is not a vote against Enushe and Chris who will likely take office regardless of what happens.  Rather, it is a vote to send a message to the GUSA establishment that business as usual needs to stop. 

As former head of the College Democrats Matt Gregory has said, voting for Hot Chick and Chicken madness would demonstrate . . .

“ . . . widespread dissatisfaction with the status quo [and] would catalyze a mass reconsideration of how GUSA could be more accessible to the disillusioned average voter. Such sentiments have been steadily growing for years, as seen in last year’s joke ticket victory, but only an event of this magnitude would actually shock the student body into a critical, harsh reassessment of what needs to change.”

Furthermore . . .

“Student displeasure would transform from undercurrent to norm overnight, and the institution would be forced to undergo fundamental structural and ideological transformations in order to reorient itself to this new reality. It could be messy at first, as revolutionary shifts often are in politics. But one, two, five years from now, the face of GUSA could be completely altered, permanently colored by populism and guarded against the dangers of elitism and insularity.”

Gregory concludes saying . . .

“Absurd as it may sound, a ticket comprised of inanimate objects offers the best opportunity to critically evaluate and ultimately fix the many problems currently ailing governance at Georgetown. A vote for this write-in campaign is not an endorsement of apathy and chaos, but rather, a commitment to a future where GUSA serves its original purpose: representing the true interests of the entire student body.”

The fact that a liberal like Matt Gregory and a libertarian and conservative publication like TGA can BOTH get behind and endorse the same ticket shows there are serious problems with Team Crenushe and GUSA which need to be addressed.

Enushe and Chris have shown they don’t deserve our vote.  Voting for Hot Chick and Chicken Madness will send a clear message to GUSA to knock off their business as usual approach in which insider politics dominates and to really reform so that it can once again begin representing all students. 

Regardless of whether the Two Chicks, One Georgetown ticket wins or not, by voting for them you’ll be sending a message to GUSA. 

And if a couple of chicken sandwiches do win, the election will have to be done over, assuming the GUSA Senate doesn’t just elevate Crenushe, meaning other candidates can join the race, so we can actually have a real election instead of a coronation ceremony.

If in that election Crenushe wins, well, then they’ll take office with a mandate, which is all the better for Georgetown.

For these reasons, we think every Hoya should vote for Hot Chick and Chicken Madness.  They are the only ticket that in this particular election represent the interests of all students.

 

 

On a final note, our last post containing new content for this semester will go up this Friday or Monday.  It has to do with our transition to a new set of editors and writers.  TGA will be going dark until August in order to create some distance between us and our successors in order to demarcate between the old and the new.  The only additional posts you’ll be seeing will be PDFs of some back issues.