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Landslide Victories in Student Association Election
Juniors Nicholas Gumas and Avra Bossov win presidency, executive vice presidency.
February 24, 2014
By Brittney Dunkins
More than 4,000 students cast their vote in the George Washington University Student Association election, earning sweeping victories for juniors Nicholas Gumas and Avra Bossov in the race for the university’s top posts.
The Joint Elections Committee released the results of the election on Friday, announcing Mr. Gumas as the SA president-elect and Ms. Bossov as the executive vice president-elect.
Mr. Gumas and Ms. Bossov bested their opponents by garnering more than 70 and nearly 60 percent of the vote, respectively.
“I genuinely care about improving the lives of students on campus and view being SA president as the best opportunity to really make a difference,” Mr. Gumas said. “When I saw the results I felt very grateful and honored.”
Mr. Gumas will be the first openly-gay president to serve in the SA and is the current president of Allied in Pride, a student-run LGBT advocacy organization.
A student in the School of Media and Public Affairs’ Political Communication program and Columbian College of Arts and Sciences’ Political Science Department, he brings a wealth of leadership experience to his new role, including serving as the chair of the SA Student Life Committee.
Mr. Gumas hopes to first tackle a reorganization of the SA website that will provide a centralized location for student resources and services. Other goals include the creation of a peer counseling program and the expansion of accessibility to internship credit.
According to Mr. Gumas, his attention to short-term manageable goals that directly improve student life may have been the clincher for his campaign.
“I hope my focus on realistic goals that make a tangible difference on our campus resonates with students,” he said.
Mr. Gumas will work closely with Ms. Bossov, a two-year veteran of the SA, who served as the deputy chief of staff under current SA president Julia Susuni.
Ms. Bossov, a student in SMPA’s Political Communication program, said she is excited to lean into a team effort with Mr. Gumas, using their shared goals to meet the needs of students.
“We have both been involved in the SA for two years now, and will be able to see where our organization has been and set goals for where it can go,” Ms. Bossov said.
“The top priority for me is figuring out how to work with Nick to solicit student feedback and really establish the SA as a bridge between the administration and students,” she added.
Ms. Bossov also said that she intends be an advocate for the student body and address the key issues that surfaced during her conversations with the campus community throughout the election — namely health, safety and costs.
“I hope to make the Senate more available to students and bring students and administrators together,” she said. “In the coming months, Nick and I will be sitting down with various stakeholders to see how we can best accomplish this goal.”
As the outgoing SA president, Ms. Susuni is excited to see Mr. Gumas and Ms. Bossov carry on the SA’s efforts to make student health and wellness a top priority, an initiative that she launched during her term.
“The most exciting part of my term was when President Knapp called me in early November to share that the Student Health Service and the University Counseling Center would move from their off-campus locations to a central location on campus,” Ms. Susuni said.
“It is important for our community to continue to invest in health and wellness resources for students,” she said.
Ms. Susuni added that without her team, the efforts to improve student health services would not have been successful. She urged Mr. Gumas to select a strong, dedicated team to support him.
“A great team will allow any president to be effective, both in serving the student body and advocating on its behalf,” she said. “This is an incredibly rewarding job, and I have no doubt that Nick will excel.”
In the coming months, both Mr. Gumas and Ms. Bossov will begin transitioning into their roles and planning strategic long-term policy goals. They each believe that the factor that will determine their future success is a willingness to listen.
“A president has to be able to listen to the concerns of students and turn that input into tangible policy goals,” Mr. Gumas said. “Organizational and communication skills are essential.”
Ms. Bossov agreed.
“The most important qualities of an EVP include an open mind, a willingness to work hard and an ability to listen to what people are saying and respond in a productive way,” she said. “I'm looking forward to honing my leadership skills so that I can be a resource and advocate for students.”