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Conversations with presidential candidates: Ira Livnat

He’s a freshman who has already taken up the mantle of a leader by being CEO of PantherHackers, but does Ira Livnat have what it takes to lead the student body?

He certainly thinks so.

“I lead by example,” Livnat said.

When asked about his lack of experience in SGA, he said that he didn’t see a problem with it and that it could actually act in favor of him if he were to win.

“Sometimes not knowing can be your greatest ally,” he said. “A quote that I love is “Not knowing lets you do things other people would think is possible. I don’t know that it’s impossible so I might do that.”

One reason why Livnat said students should vote for him is because he’ll be a student who will see the changes he’ll implement as president instead of graduating and leaving them behind.

“I think that I have the most to offer to students,” he said. “The major reason for that is that I have, out of all the candidates, I have the most invested and what I mean by that is that is that all of these candidates are juniors meaning that whatever decision they make next year they won’t deal with the implications of that. I’m a freshman. I’m not going anywhere.”

He said he began his pursuit of the presidency whenever an SGA member told him that a “freshman could be just as effective as a senior or junior in SGA.”

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Livnat shared a quote from Anne Frank in regard to that, saying, “How wonderful is it that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

And Livnat didn’t want to wait that moment, campaigning as soon as he could. Although he’s still on the campaign trail, he said that it was the easy part of a presidency and that the hard part comes after being elected.

“I’m going into this with the mentality of after I get elected, that’s when it’s time to start grinding, that’s when it’s time for the three all nighters in a row to get stuff done,” he said.

So what is the “stuff” that he plans to get done?

His platform is centered on uniting the university and listening to every concern that students have, with one of the major points being more events that include all six campuses.

“Since consolidation we’ve had this sort of notion that there’s this sort of Atlanta-elitist sort of ideology perhaps,” he said. “That’s just the sort of terminology I’ve heard, and I think part of it is that we don’t really treat these other perimeter campuses as equals and I want to start holding more events that are equidistant.”

Another one of his initiatives to create the United Student Organizations, a multiorganizational forum that allows student organizations to collaborate on larger issues at Georgia State.

“What if we had a meeting for all the executives, or all the presidents, every single month on a platform that encourages collaboration,” he said. “We are the second most innovative. By the time my term is done I want us to be first most innovative. I mean that’s what it is. I want us to get that No. 1 most innovative university and it starts with the students.”

He also wants to look into funding for student organizations and streamline the process by implementing what he calls “The Great Compromise.”

“It’s a three-pronged approach … A standard funding for each organization, to buy your logo, to buy your website,” he said. “Then we’re going to do proportional funding for every active member … [then] you have what I call a consideration fund. So if what you’re doing inherently requires more expensive equipment, more expensive venues, different resources, we’re gonna also equip you with more funding to do that.”

Livnat also wants to offer free feminine hygiene products in women’s restrooms on campus as well as increasing community service outreach from the student body.

When asked what he would do if he lost the election, Livant said that he didn’t intend on losing.