Student Life Report released

March 1, 2012

Last Friday, the Student Life Report Committee released its final product, a comprehensive and sweeping look at almost every aspect of student life at Georgetown. Examining the school’s five advisory boards, the Georgetown Program Board, intellectual life outside of the classroom, and general University policies governing student life, the report makes a wide array of proposals, from changes in how money is allocated for student groups to making top University administrators more accessible.

In its discussion of institutional improvements, the report tackles club finances, and recommends that control over the General Student Activity Account should no longer lie with the Student Activities Commission, noting that it “only advises a plurality of Georgetown’s student organizations.” The report proposes giving control of the account to GUSA, a suggestion GUSA President-elect Clara Gustafson (SFS ’13) agreed with.

“I am inclined to agree with the Student Life Report, since the GSAA is [responsible] for all gifts given in regard to student activities” Gustafson wrote in an email. “It will be necessary though to work with all stakeholders to codify an official process for the allocation of the GSAA funds.” The report also suggests that fees imposed a month or more after an event be waived, and that student organization officers have online access to their groups’ financial records.

The report also examines sanctions on student group, and the lack of a uniform procedure for hearings and guidance on what types of sanctions apply—the entire process is “on a case-by-case basis.” The report suggests the creation of a formal appeals process, which would be similar to the one for students found guilty of Student Code of Conduct violations.

On the subject of administrative accessibility, the SLR proposes institutionalizing discussions like the Hoya Roundtables, the establishment of office hours for University President John DeGioia and the Vice President of Student Affairs Todd Olson, and at least once-a-semester meetings between DeGioia, GUSA executives, and the chairman of the Student Group Union, who would represent student interests.

Newly elected SGU chair Aman Shahi (COL ‘13) wrote in an email that “the SGU Executive Committee is very supportive of the idea of regular meetings between administrators and student leaders.” Creating regular communication would “allow GUSA, the SGU, and the administration to cooperate to serve students in a more unified and effective manner,” Shahi wrote.

Olson said he likes the idea of institutionalizing the Hoya Roundtables. He wrote in an email that he has seen “commitment and enthusiasm from a wide array of senior administrators for continuing and institutionalizing these gatherings.”

“I am open to a variety of ways of meeting with students and discussing issues of interest,” Olson wrote. “[Administrators] think through the best approaches to engaging students even more broadly.”

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