The GUSA senate unanimously passed resolutions in support of Georgetown’s Jewish community and the extension of paid family leave to full-time, non-tenure-line faculty at their meeting on Nov 4.
The first resolution affirmed a GUSA executive statement of solidarity with the university’s Jewish community and supported education surrounding antisemitism in the wake of the shootings at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA.
Several senators co-sponsored the resolution, which was introduced by Sen. Lexie Gutierrez (COL ’20), who felt it was GUSA’s duty to respond. “This has been something really tough for Jews on campus to go through, it really hits home,” she said. “Jewish students have been looking towards GUSA to see if any statements would be made.”
The second resolution was partially in response to a petition delivered to the president and provost that currently asks the university to provide the same parental leave policy to tenure and non-tenure track faculty. The resolution will add GUSA to the list of signatories.
Currently, tenured professors can receive a semester leave for mothers, fathers, and adopting parents. Meanwhile, non-tenure line professors receive eight weeks leave, and only if they are the mother of the child. Sen. Patrick Walsh (SFS ’21) felt this policy is detrimental for both the parents and the students who receive an interruption in instruction.
The faculty members who organized the petition, including Kerry Danner-McDonald (COL ’93), an adjunct professor in the theology department, have been working on the issue for four years.
Arguments against the resolution included concern that the increase in benefits would lead to an increase in student tuition. An amendment was approved and passed with the full text of the resolution asking that the new policy be implemented without raising tuition costs.
In other business, the senate passed an amendment to the bylaws reforming the ethics and oversight committee. The amendment makes any member of the committee ineligible to actively participate in, endorse, or associate with any GUSA executive campaign. It also empowers the committee to provide resources to students regarding mental health, sexual misconduct, and safety.
The senate also approved an executive nomination to the GCP Safety and Student Life committee.
The standing committees will continue to meet throughout the week. The next meeting of the full senate will be Nov. 11 at 5pm in Healy 104.