Next week, the Georgetown University Student Association will vote in the student activities fee budget, concluding a months-long process that determines how to dole out $800,000 in club funding. Under the present model, GUSA is the only body with power over the budget, and GUSA senators ultimately make subjective decisions as to what constitutes an important contribution to student life.
Georgetown University Student Association presidents only occupy their post for one or two years, making it difficult for them to leave a mark on student life or deliver on optimistic campaign promises. The incoming GUSA executive, Mike Meaney (SFS ’12) and Greg Laverriere (COL ’12), would do well to heed the words of their predecessors—eschew flashy plans for those that will leave positive impacts.
Too often, student government can devolve into self-promotion with little substantive achievement. But having voted in Student Activities Fee Endowment reform and launched a new, usable website last semester, the Georgetown University Student Association looks poised for a strong semester. If last Sunday’s meeting is any indication of the sessions to come, the Senate appears to be maintaining its momentum with a set of initiatives that will make important contributions to student life.
Most students know Georgetown’s Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners as the people who shutdown late-night haven Philly Pizza. This incident shows that the ANC has wider powers than its “advisory” moniker might suggest, and their authority touches many aspects of student life. At the same time, however, the current composition of the commission undercuts the student voice.
On Wednesday, the Georgetown University Student Association Financial and Appropriations Committee announced that it will now appropriate the entirety of the $100 yearly Student Activities Fee toward funding student clubs through the Advisory Boards. Since 2001, half of the student activities fees paid by undergraduates have gone to an endowment that was supposed to have accrued enough interest by now to be self-sustaining. That endowment, now at roughly $1.9 million, is not expected to mature.
The Department of Public Safety has identified a student allegedly responsible for at least one of the bias-related incidents that occurred over the weekend, the Office of Communications reported this afternoon. Four students in two dorm rooms were the victims of bias-related incidents in New South Hall on Sept. 6 and 11. The perpetrators drew swastikas and wrote “Hitler” on the victims’ dry-erase boards. A similar incident occurred in Darnall Hall last weekend, according to the Department of Public Safety.