GUSA Senate elects FinApp, supports survey petition

October 6, 2019

The GUSA Senate elected the 12 members of the Finance and Appropriations Committee (FinApp), which allocates the student activities fee to student organizations, at their Oct. 6 meeting. They also passed two pieces of legislation, one supporting a petition dealing with the cultural climate survey, and one concerning Senate outreach. 

The committee consists of nine liaisons, who work with designated advisory boards throughout the year, and three adjuncts, who both assist the liaisons and work with GusaFund. 

The Senate elected all nine nominees for FinApp liaisons, Sens. Zumanah Mahmud (MSB ’23), Harrison Nugent (SFS ’20) Alexandra Mucher (COL ’22), Henry Dai (SFS ’22), Charlie Wang (SFS ’22), Zach Volpe (SFS ’23), Eric Bazail Eimil (SFS ’23), Julia Moreno (SFS ’22),  and Sam Dubke (SFS ’21). 

Sens. Olivia Kleier (SFS ’22), Leo Rassieur (COL ’23), and Joshua Marin-Mora (SFS ’21) were elected as adjuncts based on their knowledge of FinApp and past experience with finance and budgeting. 

Sen. Daniella Sanchez (COL ’22) introduced legislation to support a petition that is circulating around campus regarding the Cultural Climate Survey to be conducted by the Georgetown University Office of Institutional Diversity Equity and Affirmative Action. The petition calls for the survey to focus more on a variety of intersectional identities, rather than just race, and suggests a series of questions to be added to the survey.

The debate in the Senate centered around whether the resolution would support specific questions that were posed by the petitioners, to which  several senators raised concerns because of their potentially leading nature. The legislation was amended to support the underlying ideas of the proposed questions, rather than the questions themselves. 

The resolution passed unanimously. 

Sanchez, who is the Senate Outreach Chair, as well as Kleier, also introduced legislation to require senators to attend three outreach events per semester. Each senator would have to go to one class representative office hours, one tabling event, and one miscellaneous event. 

The resolution is intended to increase interest in GUSA as well as connect the institution to other students. “You are an elected official and you have a duty to do outreach with your constituents,” Sanchez said. 

The legislation passed with only two opposition votes. 

Sen. Jessica Richardson (COL ’20), who voted against the legislation, said she did not think the specific outreach events reached all communities. “I think there should be a space for senators to have all of their outreach be about why they came into GUSA,” she said. “I don’t feel like this creates a space that’s accessible for all types of students to be a part of GUSA.”

Sens. Chris Ziac (COL ’22) and Leo Arnett (SFS ’22) presented a working group report on Ethics and Oversight Committee reforms. The report suggested that the committee be expanded to include three representatives from the executive, three student representatives, and one member of the Election Commission. “A restructuring of the Committee also shall allow for Ethics & Oversight to maintain productive and proactive oversight over all branches of GUSA, as it is tasked to do,” the report read. 

The report calls for a clearer impeachment process, and  other disciplinary measures leading up to impeachment, specifically for handling high numbers of unexcused absences. 

The current Ethics and Oversight committee is reviewing the report and is expected to present some of the changes suggested by the report in the form of legislation during the coming semester, according to committee chair Zev Burton (SFS ’22). 

Wang was elected as the Senate Communications Chair and Sanchez was re-elected as Outreach Chair. Both ran unopposed. 

The body recertified three bylaws changes that had been passed during the transition session. Any changes to the bylaws have to be approved by the full senate. 

The Senate approved their meeting calendar for the rest of the fall semester, with a meeting every week. Meetings will continue to occur Sundays at 5 p.m., unless it is a holiday weekend. 

The Senate will meet next Oct. 14 at 9 p.m. in Healy 106.

Annemarie Cuccia
Annemarie is an avid Voice reader and former editor-in-chief. She hopes she left the magazine better than she found it.

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