Making History: First SCS Student Elected GradGov President

GradGov students standing in front of an Earth Month logo.

For the first time, the President of Georgetown University’s Graduate Student Government (GradGov) is a master’s student at the School of Continuing Studies (SCS). This historic milestone marks the School’s fourth GradGov cohort since officially joining the governing body in 2021.

Sebastian Grajales, a master’s candidate in the Emergency & Disaster Management program at Georgetown University.
Sebastian Grajales, a master’s candidate in the Emergency & Disaster Management program at Georgetown University.

Sebastian Grajales, a master’s candidate in the Emergency & Disaster Management program, is on a mission to improve the world for future generations. He arrived at Georgetown from Colombia with extensive political experience in Latin America and a passion for climate policy. Prior to accepting an international climate policy opportunity, Grajales had plans to run for mayor in Chia, Cundinamarca, a small town near Bogotá. Looking ahead, he aspires to address the climate crisis on a global scale: “I have always wanted to solve the climate crisis and find a safe future for future generations,” he said.

Upon his initial visit to Georgetown, Grajales was captivated by the University’s rich history and was inspired to continue his academic journey in D.C., pivoting from his original plan to pursue a master’s in Sweden. “It was a calling, maybe from God,” he said. He added that the University’s values attract change-makers globally and he aims to uphold that legacy, “We are in a place where the leaders of the world are being trained.”

After visiting the Hilltop and then attending the SCS campus downtown, Grajales was inspired to enhance the cohesiveness of University-wide activities and initiatives so that students from all campuses could connect while having the best Georgetown experience possible. As an SCS student and former staff member at the English Language Center, he figured since he was involved in politics outside of school, why not do the same across the University? When he discovered GradGov, he identified an opportunity to run for his first position as senator, and in his next term, he was elected as the co-director of energy, environment, and sustainability.

“Leading the future leaders of the world is a unique opportunity for us to not only understand our role in the global society, but our role in improving life for everyone.”

During his time in GradGov, Grajales and the SCS Caucus advocated for improving the downtown GUTS bus routes, enhanced accessibility for reserving venues across the University, and allocated additional funds for student activities, like networking events and mixers. Together, his team also developed and ran the first “Earth Month” in Georgetown’s history, which included five weeks of programming involving students, faculty, and staff.

After helping the SCS community accomplish so much over the years, Grajales contemplated the next step. “I always said I wanted to be the president. I never felt ready for this. But also, why not? What am I going to lose? Let’s just try,” he said.

Sebastian's presidency is not just a personal achievement, but a call to action for the entire SCS community. He hopes that his election will inspire others to join GradGov and contribute to the collective effort of igniting positive change. “In times of despair and uncertainty, our best course of action is to work together as a community to find solutions,” he said, emphasizing the importance of unity in building a better future for humanity.

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