Goyal combines idealism, realism

Rani Gupta

Jay Goyal admits he’s a dreamer.

“I think all politicians should be idealistic,” said Goyal, a McCormick sophomore and Associated Student Government presidential candidate. “It’s important to be idealistic … and realistic.”

When discussing the principles that drive his campaign, he speaks quickly and excitedly.

“When he talks about his ideas, he’s really enthusiastic and energetic,” said McCormick sophomore Paras Shah, a South Asian Students Alliance senator. “But he doesn’t want to be a politician. He doesn’t want to put on a fake face.”

Goyal believes students should have more impact on changes at the university.

“We do have these democratic ideals and we’ve decided that it’s the best way to make decisions that affect a large number of people,” he said. “The university should instill in us not only academics, but general citizenship values.”

To Goyal, running for president and pursuing his democratic goals is a duty.

“I feel that students should be part of the decision-making process,” he said. “I would have been upset with myself if I didn’t do anything to try to achieve that.”

Goyal said he wants to move ASG closer to pure democracy through referenda.

He said his “ultimate goal” – one he does not expect to achieve in the near future – is to make the referenda binding for the administration.

To make the university more responsive to student action, Goyal said, he wants to create monitoring committees to review the administration.

“Students are feeling that the administration isn’t being very responsive and beginning to lose faith and interest in ASG. It cheapens ASG,” Goyal said. “I want to increase the amount of student interest in ASG and university affairs.”

Although some might say his platform is too idealistic, Goyal said his positions hold up under scrutiny.

“When you look at what it’s standing for and what it’s proposing, it’s very realistic,” he said.

The primary criticism Goyal said he hears is that he lacks any ASG experience.

But he is involved with SASA, Progressive Alliance and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

“I’ve been in a diverse group of clubs, so I feel like I have a fairly good idea of how people on campus feel about certain issues,” he said.

Goyal also has attended ASG meetings, read the constitution and talked to outgoing ASG President Adam Humann to get an idea of the responsibilities involved.

For Goyal, knowing how to accomplish his goals is more important than having ASG experience.

“In terms of (other candidates) having more experience, that’s certainly true,” Goyal said. “In terms of getting stuff done, that’s probably open to debate.”