Mason Student Government holds spring elections

Students have until 11:59 p.m. on April 3 to cast their vote for student body president, vice president and 30 senators (photo courtesy of George Mason University Student Government).

This week marks the end of the Spring 2013 elections, in which a new president and vice president will be elected.

One executive ticket includes Jordan Foster and Samantha Wettesinghe, two current members of student government. The other executive ticket includes write-in candidates Donald Garrett and David Noyes.

Garrett, a student senator from 2010 to 2012, is running for president while David Noyes, a senator from 2012 to 2013, is running as his vice president.

Though Garrett is a write-in candidate, he believes that he has an equal chance of winning.

“We’ve found that talking to people face to face is better than throwing events,” Garrett wrote in an email. “Building rapport with students this way is the best path towards victory.”

Garrett said, that if elected, he would increase student involvement in the decision making process on campus.

“I want to increase the culture of Shared Governance on campus,” Garrett wrote in an email. “I think students should be in the rooms when decisions and policies are being made and discussed.  There should be at least one student in every board, advisory committee, and commission this school has.”

Jordan, a junior studying government and international politics with a minor in history, is the current student vice president. Samantha, a junior majoring in information technology with a concentration in networking, is the current chief of staff for student government.

“Jordan has been a part of SG since his freshmen year serving as a senator, chief of staff, an undersecretary of dining for university services and finally student body Vice President,” Wettesinghe wrote in an email. “This has been my first year serving in Student Government as the Chief of Staff.”

Wettesinghe said she believes student government can benefit from more collaboration with other student organizations.

“Besides the obvious in how Student Government is run I’ve also learned the usefulness of collaborating with different offices around campus,” Wettesinghe wrote in an email. “If there is a goal to be achieved or an event to be thrown, working with other organizations or offices certainly helps realizing that goal be accomplished. Not only that but it brings the Mason community together.”

Both Wettesinghe and Foster believe that the most important job of student body president and vice president is to be the voice of the students.

“Advocating for the students, listening to what they need and making it aware to the administration as well as promoting Mason as a whole [are the main jobs of SBP and SBVP],” Wettesinghe wrote. “We are there to help in the continuation of Student Government as an organization and seeing that it is utilized to it’s fullest so that students are heard and are experiencing Mason to its fullest.”

Foster and Wettesinghe say they are most concerned about fixing the communication between student government and the students who aren’t well represented.

“We have five points we definitely want to work on: Inclusion, Advocacy, Spirit, Safety, and Academics. But since coming to Mason, Jordan and I have noticed a change in the amount of spirit and pride shown for Mason and the unity in our community. It is continuing to grow and it can only continue with the push for those five points we are running with,” Wettesinghe said.

Along with their five point plan, Foster and Wettesinghe plan “to create a greater student voice and give students the chance to feel that Mason is reflective of what they want and need,” Wettesinghe wrote in an email.

Apart from the executive ticket, students will also elect 30 of the 40 student senators. Students can cast their vote on the Mason Student Government website until 12:00 a.m. on April 4.

Connect2Mason will announce the winners as they are announced at noon on April 4.


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