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GUSA execs reflect on campus promises, new initiatives

April 29, 2010


Photo by Helen Burton

After a rare second-term election fueled by a list of promised new initiatives and the slogan “Because Results Count,” Georgetown University Student Association President Calen Angert (MSB ’11) and Vice President Jason Kluger (MSB ’11) have spent the beginning of their second term shoring up existing initiatives and doing preliminary work on some news ones, but they have been forced to delay action on some of their most ambitious projects until the next academic year.

In the first months after the election, much of Angert and Kluger’s nergy has been spent firming up support for initiatives like the University subsidized LSAT familiarization course—one of their biggest first-term accomplishments—and the GUSA Fellows Program, which houses Georgetown students with unpaid summer internships for free.

“At least in recent weeks it’s been a high degree of maintenance on programs we have running … but we’ll be able to expand our focus now that we’ve nailed down Summer Fellows,” Angert said, noting that work on the GUSA Summer Fellows Program is a high priority because of the impending end of the school year.

On the issue of funding reform, perhaps the most prominent issue during the election, Angert appears to have satisfied his critics. GUSA Senator Arman Ismail (COL, ‘11), who ran against Angert in the election and challenged his handling of funding board reform, now praises his ability to work with the GUSA senate.

“I think he’s got along very well with the GUSA Senate,”  Ismail said. “Funding board reform has moved forward in a good way,” Ismail said.

Ismail said that he would like to see Angert work with Senate to strengthen the currently weak connection between GUSA and the student body.

Apart from the LSAT familiarization course and the Summer Fellows Program, much of the executive’s focus has been on the issue of increasing student space. Angert has worked in recent weeks to fulfill his campaign promise of opening up the GUSA office to all student groups. At the moment, it remains inaccessible. Angert attributes the difficulty he has faced to the fact that progress depends largely on the cooperation of several university offices and administrators.

Photo by Helen Burton

“The amount of work it takes to get something like this done here is tremendous,” said Angert.

He and his staff have also been working on creating a web page that can be used by student groups to find and reserve space. They plan to include photos of the spaces on the pages, an amenity not currently offered by the University.

“Once the summer comes, we can really sit here and make moves on a lot of this stuff … I’ll be here working on these initiatives and helping out with Summer Fellows,” said Angert.

Still, while Angert’s past initiatives like the LSAT familiarization course and funding board reform have made progress in recent weeks, many of the main issues Angert and Kluger campaigned on have recieved little attention since the election.

One of Angert’s more high-profile promises was to bring Zipcars to Georgetown, accessible with students’ GOCards. Angert said he has been in touch with representatives from Zipcar, but that his work on the initiative has since been postponed so that he can focus on raising funds for weekend GUTS bus services.

Angert has also succeeded in allowing students to bring food into the library. That initiative was first brought to Angert by Mimi Powell (COL ’10), who said she found Angert to be extremely receptive and willing to help set up meetings between Powell and school administrators.

Powell said Angert has pushed for broader changes to the food policy than she has.

“He is much more ambitious in what he wants to achieve,” Powell said. “He wants to open up the whole library to food at any time, I don’t know if that’s possible.” Still, Powell doesn’t feel Angert is unreasonable in his initiatives.

“He’s very realistic. He’s good at dividing up what needs to be done and keeping tabs on people.”




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