President Alex Williams

Vice President Jordan Foster

Presidential candidate Alex Williams, a junior government and history major, and vice-presidential candidate Jordan Foster, a sophomore government & international politics major, bring a wealth of experience to their Student Government campaign.

Williams and Foster are running with the slogan “Putting the Student Back into Student Government.”

According to Williams, he wants Student Government to focus on being an advocacy group for students.

“At the end of the day, we are the biggest cheerleaders,” Williams said. “We can’t make decisions or set policy, but we can advocate our hearts out for something.”

Williams also wants students to have more of a voice at the administration level. He believes that while students cannot make decisions vote on administrative matters, it is beneficial to have a student voice advocating for what students want.

Foster would like to see students become more active with the Office of Student Involvement.

“A very small fraction [of students are] involved, and those students are the face of the school,” Foster said. “You can have one student who’s the president of three different organizations. In a school with 30,000 students and 3,000 organizations, that doesn’t add up.”

Foster has been involved with Student Government since the first semester of his freshman year. He started as the undersecretary of dining and was later appointed chief of staff. This year he has focused more on the legislative side of things as a student senator.

Foster is the chairman of the Mason Committee, which deals with George Mason University affairs, outreach and state networking.

Williams ran for Student Senate last year following his father’s visit to Mason. Williams was uncomfortable with the fact that his father is an asthmatic, yet he could not enter the Johnson Center without passing through a cloud of smoke generated from nearby smokers.

Williams looked for a solution for to the issue, and he became a student senator to work on the smoking policy. This year he took the chief of staff position left vacant by his running mate.

Williams also stated that he and Foster had been working on their issues before they decided to run for office.

“We didn’t say, ‘Oh, we’re running for office, so let’s come up with some issues,’” Williams said. “We said, ‘We’re working on some issues. Let’s run for office.’”

President Gabriel Lavine

Vice President Ellie Shahin

Presidential candidate Gabriel Lavine, a sophomore communication major, and vice-presidential candidate Ellie Shahin, a junior communication major, are running a write-in campaign for the Student Government elections. The pair missed the application deadline by one minute and seven votes and was accordingly not allowed on the ballot.

Lavine said that there needs to be a greater connection between Student Government and the student body that they represent.

“There are people who don’t know who our current Student Government president is, and they don’t know where to find the Student Government office on campus,” Lavine said. “We feel that’s a problem. We feel everyone should know where their biggest resource is in connection to administration and how to use it effectively.”

According to Lavine, he and Shahin are trying to find new and innovative ways to connect students with Student Government using social media. Lavine is currently utilizing Twitter and Facebook and live-streaming his campaign.

Another goal of the campaign is to bring more events onto campus. Lavine is a proponent of doing so especially on the weekends so students can find entertainment at Mason instead of having to go elsewhere.

In addition, Lavine feels that there needs to be more school spirit on Mason campus.

“I want to instill that Mason Nation pride back in our community,” Lavine said.

Lavine, being a former senator, has experience in Student Government, but his running mate, Shahin, has no such prior experience. Nevertheless, she believes she has what it takes.

“I personally believe that I have the leadership capability,” Shahin said. “So far, just running this campaign, I’m in love. The politics are exciting. I’d like the opportunity to make a change at this university because I feel that we need it.”

Lavine and Shahin do not feel that they should give up simply because they are a write-in.

“The campaign’s not really about us. It’s about the student body,” Lavine said. “We really want a Student Government where the experience of each student is a top priority.”

President Liam Hennelly

Vice President Mohamed Ahmed

Presidential candidate Liam Hennelly, a sophomore government and international politics major, and vice-presidential candidate Mohamed Ahmed, a junior environmental science major, aim to focus on simple steps to improve students’ overall experience at George Mason University.

“We’re running on a number of simple steps,” Hennelly said. “One of the big things we want to do is increase school spirit. A simple step for that would be to give everyone the same Mason Patriot shirt at welcome week.”

Hennelly also wants to have bigger tailgate parties, not just for basketball, but for other sports such as baseball.

Another goal is to put ice in dorms that don’t have kitchens. According to Hennelly he has received numerous requests from students to put ice into dorms.

“That’s something simple that a student body president could actually do in a year,” Hennelly said.

Ahmed said that the first step is to restore student confidence in Student Government.  By giving students simple things that they need, Student Government can then move on to tackle larger issues.

Ahmed has no prior experience in Student Government, but he has held positions of responsibility with his fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha, and is currently the campus involvement chair.

Hennelly is currently a student senator. He has been involved with Student Senate for the past two years and has been on a multitude of committees.

Ahmed believes that despite his lack of experience, he will bring fresh ideas to Student Government, and he has the leadership abilities to handle the responsibility.

Hennelly agrees that students need to get involved with Student Government, but there are steps that need to be taken first.

“The other campaign slogan [of Foster and Williams] is that we need to put the student back into Student Government,” Hennelly said. “I would say that students have to first realize what Student Government can do before they can approach it. [There are] simple steps that people can identify, that this organization can actually do something for you and that’s who can advocate for you.”