This Friday, students will start voting for next year's SGA Executive Board. Two major tickets are running for the four spots of President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer: the ticket of Anovick, Bonsu, Gorman, and D'Annibale, and the ticket of Schupper, Paul, Whiteaker, & Toomre.
It is the opinion of the writer, that both tickets significantly address the self-interests of students, but neither recognize the role that Hopkins plays in the community and beyond. According to their constitution, the SGA stands as the “sole representative body for Hopkins Undergraduates” and with the current platforms of both SGA groups, there is little possibility for them to represent the interests that students may have in bettering the Baltimore and global community.
The Schupper, Paul, Whiteaker, and Toomre platform focus primarily on providing free events, services and widgets for students. These include free printing, coffee 24/7, more events, and expanded BJ Shuttle stops. They vaguely include transparency, interdisciplinary connectivity and amending the SGA Constitution.
The Anovick, Bonsu, Gorman, and D'Annibale have a more extensive platform includes SGA efficiency, academics, student life, and a catch-all “Safety, Security, & Sustainability.” It is in this last portion of their ticket that they approach the concept that Hopkins has a relationship with the community. Hope lies in their “Security partnership with Baltimore/Maryland schools,” but that is predicated off them making a typo with “Security” replacing secure. However, they give more characters on their Facebook page to claim that “Sharks have a week exclusively dedicated to the celebration of Dylan Gorman.” They do mention attaining more funding for student groups, which would indirectly benefit the community assuming that funding went to programs that benefit the community, but funding will more likely be allocated to SGA co-sponsored events that focus on student life, based on the priorities of their ticket.
While as its name implies, the focus of SGA is on the students, but the same can be said for the University Administration, which just announced an initiative to invest $10 million in community development and has included community as a part of its ten top university priorities. SGA Executive Board candidates should take after our university leadership and consider including in their platforms the role that Hopkins has as a world leader in private institutions and the responsibilities that come with it.