The GUSA Senate passed a calling for the university to guarantee a minimum number of breaks per semester at their meeting on Nov. 11.
The resolution hopes to create mandatory breaks each semester in response to the lack of breaks for students this fall semester. Sen. Kariel Bennett (COL ‘23) introduced the resolution, citing burnout from a traumatic semester and saying she knew she was not alone in feeling this way.
“Personally, I feel like if COVID is not a reason for us to take a step back from school then there will never be a reason in the eyes of Georgetown administration,” Bennett said.
The resolution demands that there be two mandatory 3-day weekends per semester and that Thanksgiving and Spring break are guaranteed time off for students every semester moving forward. It also calls for the university to prioritize the mental health of its students when creating the academic calendar and advocates that the administration collaborate with GUSA in the deliberation.
“I would just like for us to have a say in what’s happening in our academic year,” Bennett said. The resolution also cited a petition, currently signed by over 160 students, asserting the necessity of mandatory breaks for students each semester.
“It’s obviously a very important thing, not just for this semester but for future semesters,” Sen. Leo Rassieur (COL ’23) said in support of the bill.
The resolution passed unanimously by voice vote.
The Senate also voted to confirm Libby McCoy (COL ‘23) as Gender Equity executive policy chair and Christina Ruder (SFS ‘23) as Student Works policy chair.
“I’ve been kind of working in this role since May,” McCoy, who is also involved in H*yas For Choice, said. “So far we have basically accomplished our goals on menstrual equity and STI testing, which was super exciting.” McCoy said the two policy proposals she worked on over the summer, increasing access to menstrual products for all students on campus and increasing access to STI testing, have been successful, and she said she will continue work on those projects.
Ruder, who is a student worker working in campus ministry, said she saw the biggest goal for the Student Workers policy team as making sure the needs of student workers are heard. This included creating new positions for low-income federal work-study student workers in need of a job after the RHO was disbanded.
Both McCoy and Ruder were unanimously confirmed to their positions by a voice vote.
Additionally, Speaker Leo Teixeira (COL ’21) announced the extension of the application for the vacant executive officer seat and vacant Senate seat for the class of 2022, following the resignation of Daniella Sanchez (COL ‘22), for another week. Teixeira cited an underwhelming amount of applications for both positions as reason for the extensions.
The next GUSA Senate meeting will be held on Nov. 8 at 6 p.m. EST via Zoom.