GUSA commissions stall

April 16, 2009

Progress has been slow for the student commissions GUSA created in October to address technology, dining, course registration, identity, and student conduct issues.

Speaker Reggie Greer (COL ‘09) envisioned the Senator-led commissions as a chance to enlist students outside GUSA with particular interests or expertise to help investigate common issues of concern, such as expanding wireless internet service and extending the Add/Drop Period.

The technology commission, for one, has yet to fulfill their potential for outreach, according to chair Justin Kirschner (SFS 09). It did release a survey about the campus wireless internet system, but no recommendations have been made based on the results.

“We really haven’t been able to do anything since then,” Kirschner said. “We have not been able to get off the ground, to be honest.”

Kirschner said that the problem was not that the commission has faced any obstacles, but rather that it lacked the momentum to make progress.

Other commissions are similarly stalled.  Vice Speaker Nick Troiano (COL ’11) said he was unsure of the current leadership of the commission created to deal with the Student Code of Conduct after its original chair, former Vice Speaker Brian Wood (COL ’09) graduated last semester.

“They haven’t done anything since Brian left,” Troiano said.

However, not all the commissions’ setbacks are GUSA-related. The chair of the dining commission, Kristen Kennedy (COL ‘12), said her commission must wait for the monthly meeting of the dining hall’s Food Committee to voice student concerns. Kennedy had hoped to co-sponsor a bill about on-campus dining issues by the end of the school year, but stayed realistic.

“It appears that any progress we need to make will take a while,” she said.

Kennedy said she supports the commission system and expressed hope that more students outside GUSA will get involved in the future.

Despite these complications, Greer is still optimistic about the potential of the commission system.

“I’ve said a thousand times that I’m committed to making something work until it fails,” he said. “I don’t want to abandon it.”

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