top of page

SGA Presidential Platform Takeaways

If a tree falls in a Student Government election...

In Liberty Jacket tradition, the Editorial Board will not endorse candidates for Student Government (SGA), for we believe that our job is to present information on the candidates so that our readers can make their own decisions. Thus, for those who are still on the fence as polls close on Friday, March 18, here are some main takeaways from the candidates’ platforms. We encourage you to read each platform yourself.



Since Srija Somaka and Granger West are lagging behind in club and organization endorsements, the current frontrunners of the election are projected to be Rohan Sohani for President and Grace Swift for Vice President.


The Sohani-Swift campaign’s major focus is its commitment to helping all students have equal access to opportunities and experiences while at Georgia Tech. The campaign has a “three pillars” setup on the policies they want to implement during their term.


The Somaka-West campaign has different priorities: Their campaign’s number one issue is the disorganization, organizational politics, and secrecy within SGA. To address this problem, the campaign has proposed internal reforms, including new representative positions, new executive branch positions, and election process changes. Changes are unlikely to be achievable within one year, they may be a step in the right direction. Typically, executive and legislative changes infer a constitutional or bylaw change: a long, excruciating process. This is especially true for the proposed 11+ new representatives, new presidentially-appointed positions, and election reforms. Because major organizational changes typically require an amendment to the constitution or bylaws, these changes are unlikely to be achieved within one year. If the Somaka-West campaign commits to addressing this concern, it will undoubtedly take most of their time and resources away from their other campaign promises.


Srija Somaka & Granger West, Source: sga.gatech.edu/elections

The elephant within the chambers of SGA is the disconnect between SGA and the Georgia Tech Community. Both campaigns have proposed solutions: On the one hand, the Somaka-West campaign is pressing to reform SOFO and cut “red tape” around student organization funding, something Somaka claims to be the most significant role of SGA at Georgia Tech. The Somaka-West campaign has proposed increasing SGA’s campus presence, including SGA tabling events, publicized meeting minutes and newsletters, and a lengthier and more engaging SGA election process.


The Sohani-Swift campaign has advocated for SGA representatives to visit student organizations to “understand how SGA can support their initiatives and receive input on SGA initiatives.” Sohani and Swift are also advocating for holding monthly forums for organizations to share grievances. The campaign has also suggested connecting SGA representatives and college student advisory boards to Institute Administration to better address problems on campus.


Another problem facing the candidates is the low track record of campaign promises being kept. The Sohani-Swift campaign, after parsing the completion statuses of over 250 promises among the platforms of the past two presidencies, delivered a damning statistic that only 18% of campaign promises were fulfilled by the last couple administrations. Sohani and Swift’s approach has been to advertise only three pillars with specific goals and solutions. This purported failure of previous administrations to keep their campaign promises may be a substantial factor in the SGA - Georgia Tech Community disconnect.


Another common issue both campaigns seek to tackle is updating FASET to better equip incoming freshmen and transfer students for life at Georgia Tech. Beyond the major issues, there are great similarities in both campaign platforms.

Incoming First-years and Transfer Students Participate in FASET Orientation. Source: Georgia Tech News

Students at Georgia Tech have much to consider in this campaign cycle: Can each campaign accomplish its goals? Are the candidates’ goals aligned with the desires of the student body?

Does the Somaka-West Campaign try to tackle too many issues while the Sohani-Swift Campaign addresses too few?

Ultimately, it is up to students to perform their civic duty by reviewing each campaign platform and voting for the candidates who will best serve the Georgia Tech community. //



Logan Putnam (forward and takeaways)

Nathaniel Greve (multimedia and platforms)


 

Did we make an impression? Did we leave anything out? Voice your opinion by sending a letter to the editor or submitting a counter-point as an article on our Contact page! We look forward to hearing what you have to say. Let's make political discourse civil again.

 


The Presidential Platforms

Beginning with Srija and Granger, scroll down for Rohan and Grace


Biographies and Platforms are copied directly from the candidates' online campaign materials to provide a convenient guide for our readers. We do not own the rights to nor officially endorse the statements made. Please send us an email to correct any mistakes. admin@thelibertyjacket.tech




Srija Somaka + Granger West "It's Time 4 REAL Change"

1. Reform SGA to Work for You

Streamline and Simplify Organizational Finance

Reform and Prioritize the Undergraduate House of Representatives (UHR)

Restructure the Executive Branch

Improve Communication, Transparency, and Engagement


2. Empower all Communities

Address International Students Needs

Support Transfer Students

Develop Student Organizations

Elevate Cultural and Religious Groups

Promote Greek Life

Uplift the LGBTQIA+ Community

Recognize all Athletes


3. Advocate for Better Mental Health + Wellbeing

Work for Improved Access to Mental Health Providers

Address Physical and Sexual Violence

Adopt a Holistic Approach to Wellbeing


4. Look after Campus Infrastructure + Sustainability

Improve the Physical Campus Infrastructure

Improve the Digital Campus Infrastructure

Encourage Sustainability



 

Rohan Sohani + Grace Smith "#LeadingWithListening"

Pillar I. Tech needs to be a campus that strives for academic excellence while maintaining a healthy balance between work and a social life.

Context

Example Proposals


Pillar II. SGA can make Tech more accessible by reducing barriers to existing campus services and eliminating extra required expenses.

Context

Example Proposals


Pillar III. Diversity, equity, and inclusion must be a priority in campus programming and resource allocation. Advocating for these priorities must be a focal point of SGA’s work. Rather than speaking for these groups during a campaign and rarely following up, we commit to regularly listening to and meeting with leaders of BSOs, cultural organizations, and queer communities to understand where Tech can and needs to do better.

Context

Example Proposals



 

Polls close at 5:00 P.M. on Friday, March 18th. Vote Here.

More election info and the candidates running for the other races available at sga.gatech.edu/elections


Do you wish to make an impact on SGA and champion your own set of solutions? Get involved by attending meetings this year, reading the meeting minutes, and creating your own plans. Applications to run for election typically open at the end of February and are due at the beginning of March. Be sure to send us a message when you do.


325 views

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


Where's the Comment Section?

We welcome your insight! We at The Liberty Jacket believe in meaningful discussion through reason, evidence, and counterarguments rather than short, unsubstantiated comments. If you would like to respond to the above article, please consider one of these options.

1) Submit a Letter to the Editor (shorter responses). Your message will be reviewed and compiled in a separate article with other responses.

2) Submit an Article with a Counterargument (longer responses). Your article will be reviewed and published.

3) Leave a comment on our Instagram page @TheLibertyJacket or our Facebook page.

4) Become a Writer!

Footer
bottom of page