The last place Jordan Foster and Samantha Wettasinghe thought they would end up was on the ticket for pres- ident and vice president of their college student government.

Neither Foster or Wettashinghe, both rising seniors, had any initial interest in getting involved with student govern- ment when they first walked on to campus four years ago, but both gravi- tated towards the organization as they became more involved with the school.

The two are running for the 2013-2014 school year on a five point plan titled “Experience Mason”. Students can read more about the plan on sg.gmu.edu.

We know school so well, know students and administration so well. We feel a big positive change coming to Mason. We don’t know what it is, but between the GMU Pink Nation movement, the article in C2M about meal places for the homeless and our placement in the environmental bracket, we’re really excited. All these students are getting so active and putting Mason on the board with homegrown student movements.

Jordan Foster, Presidential Candidate

Foster, who was heavily involved in student government in high school and served both as class council pres- ident and student government presi- dent thought that he would leave his campaigning days behind when he came to Mason.

Halfway through his freshman year, he realized his mistake and gravitated back to student government.

“When I’m involved with a school or organization, I want to know how I can make the experience better for every- one,” Foster said. “How can we do things in a unique way that pleases mostly everyone?”

Wettasinghe, who unlike most students involved in student govern- ment is an IT major, was recruited after she created the campaign video for current president Alex Williams.

Before getting involved with Patriot Leaders the summer before her soph- omore year, Wettasinghe considered

herself apathetic to the college lifestyle. “I had no plans of getting involved. I had no plans of making friends. I wasn’t against it, but I wasn’t going to go out of the way to do it,” Wettasinghe said. “I was here for academics. But after I lived on Brunswick floor my freshman year and then became a Patriot Leader, I started to go to events and go out and learn about

this school.”

Foster, who is currently the vice president, and Wettasinghe, who is currently the chief of staff, say they have the expe- rience and passion to continue on the work they have both been contributing to under Williams’ administration.

Following the lead of several mentors in student government who have gone off the status quo and been successful, Foster hopes to make signficant changes next year.

“I’ve built off of their knowledge and gotten so much information from differ- ent corners of school,” Foster said.

They plan to continue Williams’ initia- tive to strengthen the bond with the administration, faculty and staff, which Foster highlights as one of the major successes of the 2012-2013 year.

Now that student government has a more solid relationship with the admin- istration, Foster hopes to reach out and make better connections with the student body.

I cannot even explain to people how much pride I have for Mason. It’s something everyone should have feeling of. I want to give that feeling to everyone, even the people who have a harder time getting involved. You should feel proud of your school, feel involved and feel like you’re living a legacy.

Samantha Wettasinghe, Vice Presidential Candidate

“We are looking at Mason more as a whole. How do studetns fit into this mass, this working organ, without getting lost in the rustle and tumble?,” Foster said. “We would like to send liasons to each of the schools and colleges so that when we

need to work with them and get in touch, we’ll have a much easier time.”

This initiative will include a relation- ship with Mason’s satellite campuses in Prince William and Arlington, where Foster hopes to set up student govern- ment offices to facilitate more connec- tion and work between the campuses.

“I’m the kind of person who wants to do everything and touch everything. I really want to have caucuses each week with different groups of students with their own identity, be it Black, Hispanic, the Greek community or students with disabilities,” Foster said. “It will be a different way to talk to students and see how they’re feeling at Mason.”

Despite the difficulty, Foster appre- ciates being able to be privy to both adminstrator and student concerns and challenges.

“From what I’ve learned from Alex, the hardest part of the job is the balance of being in the middle of being a student and being a quasi-administrator. How to work well with both groups, and how to work as liason is a struggle,” Foster said.

Though Foster and Wettasinghe are running unopposed on the formal ballot, Foster stresses that they are not skating through the election process.

“We’re still talking to organizations and getting to know people and you can read our platform online. We even have buttons,” Foster said.


5 Point Plan: Experience Mason

  1. Inclusion: Reaching out to student organizations to create a working relationship with everyone–including on and off campus students, across all three campuses.
  2. Academics: Encourage the relationships student government has with individual colleges and schools at Mason.
  3. Safety: Safety must extend beyond the police department. There should be a stronger focus on student conduct and campus safety policies as a whole.
  4. Advocacy: Achieve a better balance in what administrators know about the students. Bad behavior should not be the primary issue.
  5. Spirit: Mason should be a reflection of the community that students desire. Mason should feel like home, whether they are at a basketball game or eating at Southside.