The GUSA Senate passed a resolution to support the Student Advocacy Office’s (SAO) proposal to create a timeline for the disciplinary process for Code of Student Conduct violations at its first meeting of the summer legislative session on May 10. The resolution was introduced by Speaker Daniella Sanchez (COL ’22) and co-sponsored by Sens. Leo Rassieur (COL ’23) and Julio Salmeron-Perla (SFS ’22).
The SAO helps students navigate Georgetown’s disciplinary system by providing free advising to students charged under the Code of Student Conduct and educating students about their rights under the code. Currently, the code does not specify how far in advance of a disciplinary meeting the Office of Student Conduct (OSC) should alert students of pending disciplinary charges. The SAO proposal recommends that the OSC amend the Code of Student Conduct to say that students must be notified of both their charges and the date of their scheduled administrative action meeting at least three business days in advance of the meeting.
The proposal cites similar policies implemented by other universities, such as George Washington and American University, whose student codes of conduct each have a mandate to alert students of the charges against them at least three days in advance.
The SAO hopes that the three-day waiting period will give students more time to prepare for disciplinary meetings. The proposal quoted the support of several students previously involved in the process. These students cited concerns that they were not alerted far enough before their hearings to adequately prepare.
“I didn’t even have a full business day between the date I was notified about my charges and the date I had a scheduled hearing,” commented Fiona McGoldrick (COL ‘22) regarding her hearing. “I was extremely rushed, and I barely had any time to get help from SAO in order to prepare my written statements,” she said, adding, ”A three-day waiting period would be really helpful overall and much more productive.”
GUSA senators also spoke in support of the proposal and the Senate’s role in backing it. “I think it’s really important that students have time to talk with advocates and to review the charges against them before they actually have to go in and address people,” said Sen. Olivia Kleier (SFS ’22).
The resolution passed unanimously with no abstentions.
Additionally, the Senate confirmed several positions in the GUSA executive. Michael Miller (SFS ’22) was confirmed as Director of the SAO and Escadar Alemayehu (NHS ’22) was confirmed as Representative to the Board of Directors. The Senate also confirmed Joe Maccarone (NHS ’21) as the Student Health Policy Chair, Sonya Hu (COL ’22) as the Mental Health Policy Chair, Piper Conway (COL ’21) as the Sustainability Policy Chair, Cimrun Srivastava (SFS ’23) as the Student Conduct Policy Chair, Arnav Kumar (SFS ’23) as the Technology Policy Chair, and Luka Pauwelyn (SFS ’22) as the International Students Policy Chair. Policy chairs serve as heads of policy teams in the GUSA executive.
Seven senators – Eddie Galvan (MSB ’23), Shirley Tang (COL ’22), Amaan Chaudhry (MSB ’21), Julio Salmeron-Perla (SFS ’22), Joseph Yacovone (COL ’22), Winston Ardoin (SFS ’21), and Samantha Moreland (MSB ’21) – were confirmed as liaisons of the Finance and Appropriations Committee. Each liaison will be responsible for working with one club advisory board during the funding allocation process next spring. Sen. Sofia Negrete-Retamales (COL ’23) was confirmed as an adjunct member of the committee.
Finally, Sen. Chris Ziac (COL ’22) was confirmed as the Ethics and Oversight Senate Representative.
The next Senate meeting will be held on May 24 at 5 p.m. EST over Zoom.