Senate fills vacancy, revises community guidelines

October 14, 2020

The GUSA Senate voted to confirm a new senator for the class of 2022, Beyza Yazici (SFS ’22), at their meeting on Oct. 11. 

After the resignation of Daniella Sanchez (COL ‘22) last month, GUSA opened applications for the seat to all eligible members of the class of 2022. The application was open for a week, and President Nicolo Ferretti (SFS ’21), Vice President Bryce Badger (MSB ’21), Speaker Leo Teixeira (COL ’21), and Vice Speaker Melanie Cruz-Morales (COL ’22) reviewed and selected Yazici for the position. Yazici previously ran for an at-large seat. 

Yazici joined the Georgetown community in spring 2020 as a transfer student. “This is the first time I would be in a position like this,” she told the Senate during her confirmation. Yazici said her motivations for running included a desire to advocate for more disability and mental health programs and protect the rights of students on financial aid. 

“I only had two months [on campus], but I did try to see what mental health services Georgetown had to provide. I felt like it wasn’t enough,” she said. “I ran mainly because I want to help people who feel like they don’t have a voice. During the coronavirus pandemic, and being sent home, and getting my financial aid package and seeing that it was completely gutted really broke my heart.” Yazici was confirmed unanimously. 

The Senate also reviewed and amended the 15th Senate’s Community Guidelines which were drafted by the 14th Senate during the previous term. In confirming the community guidelines, many echoed support for Teixeira’s priority in shifting away from the “toxicity and culture” of previous Senate bodies. Teixeira emphasized that more work was needed to mend GUSA’s culture. 

“[The toxicity] will not end with passing this set of community guidelines,” he said. “It is prudent that we set a point in the future, where we take these community guidelines, we discuss them as a group, we expand on them, [and] we see if we are succeeding or failing at implementing them.” 

Additionally, in the discussion of the guidelines Teixeira, Sens. Olivia Kleier (COL ’22) and Nirvana Khan (SFS ’24), among others, called for future structural changes of the Ethics and Oversight committee’s ability to hold Senators accountable for violations of these guidelines. 

The Senate confirmed Eva Saville (SFS ’22),  to the external boards of the Licensing and Oversight committee. The body also approved the Election Commission’s nomination of Varsha Menon (SFS ’21) to serve as a non-voting representative on the Ethics and Oversight committee.  

The next senate meeting will be held on Oct. 18 at 6 p.m. 

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