GUSA swore in Thomas Leonard (COL ’23) as its new vice president following the official resignation of former VP Nicole Sanchez (SFS ’22) at its Dec. 5 meeting.
Sanchez resigned to take a medical leave of absence and plans to return in the fall. According to GUSA president Nile Blass (COL ’22), “Sanchez’s absence is ultimately a personal matter.”
Leonard previously served as the executive representative for the ethics and oversight committee. To fill the new vacancy in this position, the Senate confirmed Genevieve Grenier (MSB ’24); Article V of the GUSA bylaws states that the president can unilaterally nominate any candidate to an executive position.
Following the confirmations, Sen. John Woodall (MSB ’24) introduced a resolution to deal with the university’s worker shortage. The resolution called on Georgetown to expand their Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) beyond a lifetime limit of 120 credits for all workers, including contract workers. The TAP program currently covers 90 percent of tuition charges for a total of eight lifetime semesters in a Georgetown undergraduate program for faculty and staff. It also provides more limited tuition assistance for the children of faculty and staff but does not extend to contract workers.
Woodall said that he believed that this resolution would help the university attract workers more effectively than a simple wage increase.
Woodall pointed out the low wages and public health risks as dissuading factors for new university hires. “So we need to do something about that,” he added, “not just increase wages, because I don’t feel like that’s going to be enough of an offer that people will want to take.”
A period of questioning ensued, and many senators expressed that while the proposal was a good idea, the resolution would require significant amounts of additional research and elaboration before it could pass. The Senate then voted to table the resolution. Going forward, Woodall plans to develop the resolution by bringing it to the policy and advocacy committee.
GUSA also reviewed its community guidelines during Sunday’s meeting. The Senate’s next meeting time has not been announced due to the upcoming winter break.