GUSA Fund chair appointee from SAC

February 4, 2010

Jackson Perry

Jackson Perry

In the midst of a public and bitter battle between the Georgetown University Student Association and the advisory boards that disperse funds for student programming over the fate of the funding allocation process, GUSA President Calen Angert (MSB ’11) has nominated Kate Petersen (COL ’11), a former Student Activities commissioner, to be the first chair of the GUSA Fund.

The GUSA Fund was created in November to provide clubs with supplemental money if an advisory board fails to allocate sufficient funding to an event. In arguing for the new fund, many GUSA senators pointed to student surveys they had collected early in the fall semester showing that clubs under SAC’s purview were more dissatisfied than student organizations under any other advisory board.

Angert said he sees Petersen’s SAC experience as a positive, and believes her familiarity with the funding process will help the GUSA Fund succeed. Angert said he does not believe her position on funding reform contradicts GUSA’s.

“She has a very healthy view of the reforms,” Calen said. “She loved the thought that this fund could help supplement groups and cut through a lot of the red tape.”

Petersen said that she believes the GUSA Fund must be viewed as an auxiliary funding board, not a substitute of any advisory board.

“We’re really here to augment, to try and help out, we’re not here to compete,” Petersen said.

While SAC has been a vocal critic of the GUSA reforms, especially GUSA’s recently proposed bill to remove the votes of advisory boards from the Funding Board, Petersen took a very diplomatic stance on GUSA’s reform legislation.

“There is a lack of understanding between all of the institutions,” Petersen said. “I think if you were to throw GUSA members into a SAC meeting, and give them the same budget and the same rules, they would probably make the same decisions.”

Members of both SAC and GUSA applauded Petersen’s nomination.

“The problem of SAC is … collective and institutional,” GUSA Senator Colton Malkerson (COL’13), a member of the Financial Appropriations Committee, wrote in an e-mail. “Individual members, past or present, of SAC are not the problem necessarily.”

Harrison Holcomb (NHS ’11), vice-chair of SAC, expressed support for Petersen’s appointment.

“I applaud GUSA for acknowledging its limited experience in supporting student programs, and choosing someone with experience working with Student Affairs to lead the GUSA fund,” Holcomb wrote in an e-mail.

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