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Aly McCormick for vice president

Sage Russell | Assistant Photo Editor
Student Government Association vice presidential candidate Aly McCormick.

Between working alongside the Student Government Association president, tangling with senators and finding time to advance their own initiatives, being the SGA vice president is no easy task.

With her combination of experience and perspective, junior Aly McCormick has what it takes to succeed. She deserves students’ votes for vice president.

McCormick understands that advocacy means fighting for students, not each other. During our discussion, McCormick told us the lessons she’d learned as the speaker of American University’s Undergraduate Senate: Don’t let drama fester and communicate with your colleagues. If McCormick can apply those lessons to the SGA Senate, we think it could put aside politics and personal feuds for students’ sake.

Beyond adjusting its attitude, McCormick has plans to make the SGA more transparent. She said she’d publish meeting minutes online and ensure the body’s documents are unlocked for the public to access. And McCormick said she would extend that openness to the SGA’s financial allocations process, allowing members of student organizations to attend the committee meetings that determine the funding they receive.

Giving students more scrutiny over their representatives — and helping them better understand how the SGA doled out $265,787 to student organizations last December — is a plus in our book. These administrative reforms are also likely the easiest parts of her agenda to implement, and they’re well within the realm of what’s possible for the SGA to accomplish in a single year.

The initiatives McCormick said she could achieve in office would change GW for the better, and not just those pertaining to the SGA. To prevent sexual violence on campus, McCormick said she would shift Title IX training to occur yearly for students and faculty and compile information and resources regarding sexual violence into a “survivors’ bill of rights.” These initiatives would better support members of this campus — and send a clear message about what the University’s values are.

Though McCormick transferred to GW in the fall, we feel as though she’s grasped the problems facing students here in just a few months — and many of the issues she’s tackling aren’t unique to GW. Whether through her own experience or discussions with her new peers, McCormick’s platform — though short and simple compared to fellow vice presidential candidate and SGA Senator Ethan Lynne — ticks the issues we’d expected to see.

The platform Lynne provided us included topics ranging from artificial intelligence in the classroom to course registration to campus spaces. Where Lynne and McCormick address similar points, like the hours of Lerner Health and Wellness Center, tap access to residence halls for off-campus and commuter students or GW Dining, they tend to land on the same side of the issue. With the candidates’ policies more or less in sync, the vice presidential race is a question of quantity versus quality.

We appreciated Lynne’s ambition and his plans to address the concerns of various members of GW’s student body. But we viewed McCormick’s platform as the better choice — its brevity is a strength, not a weakness.

There’s only so much any candidate can do once elected, and whether they like it or not, students have a right to expect them to deliver on their platforms. Lynne has experience in the senate, and he discussed how his connections with student organizations and officials will turn his plans into reality. But we felt some of his proposals relied too much on the University to be feasible. Passing a resolution hardly guarantees officials will take action, and even the most effective of vice presidents have only the time and capital for a handful of initiatives before the next election rolls around.

Despite our endorsement, we suspect some of McCormick’s plans would take years to come to fruition, if at all. Getting a Foggy Bottom-area grocery store to once again accept GWorld will be an uphill battle. But to her credit, McCormick acknowledged the long-term nature of that particular plan, and she said platforms that overpromise and underdeliver leave voters feeling disillusioned.

The SGA can’t do everything, but it can advocate. And when we asked McCormick how she’d like to be remembered after her time in office, she said as someone who actually advocated for students. With students’ votes this week, we believe McCormick can use the vice presidency to do just that.

The editorial board consists of Hatchet staff members and operates separately from the newsroom. This week’s staff editorial was written by Opinions Editor Ethan Benn based on discussions with Contributing Culture Editor Jenna Baer, Editorials Assistant Paige Baratta, Contributing Social Media Director Anaya Bhatt, Contributing Opinions Editor Riley Goodfellow and Social Media Director Ethan Valliath.

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