Senator Ted Cruz seeks to overturn two D.C. laws

Senator Ted Cruz is seeking to overturn two DC acts, the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act and Human Rights Amendment Act, on the basis that they violate religious freedom.

The Non-Discrimination Act prohibits employers from discriminating against those who have abortions or use birth control, and the Human Rights Act prevents religious educational institutions from denying funding to gay and lesbian student groups.

Cruz has not been the only one involved with this issue. As dcist reported, Heritage Action for America, an advocacy group, as well as other conservative organizations have encouraged Congress to oppose these acts. On the other side of the debate, more than 50 women’s rights and gay rights groups have pushed to maintain these laws so that “those who work and study in the District are treated fairly”.

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Talks with Vox: Creators of OWN IT Helen Brosnan and Kendall Ciesemier

Ladies, leave your men at home (or bring them to Gaston Hall to learn about female leadership), because this Saturday, March 28 is the second annual OWN IT Summit.

This week, Vox sat down with the creators of the OWN IT Summit, Helen Brosnan (COL ’16) and Kendall Ciesemier (COL ’15), to get some insight into the high-profile event.

Vox: How did you first get the idea for OWN IT?

Helen: We met when I was a freshmen and Kendall was a sophomore in the student group, GU Women and Leadership. We were in the group, trying to help form it, and we wanted to do this kind of big meeting at the end of the year, and the more we got into planning it, it became a bigger and bigger thing because we were like “Wow, this is a real issue on campus.” We thought, what about doing this meeting in the frame of leadership? No matter who you are, where you’re from, what your trying to do, let’s find out the best skills and best advice you can get to be the best sort of leader when you graduate. The more we went on, the more we had people say, “Thank God you’re talking about this, this is such a necessary conversation,” and I think people want an avenue and venue to talk about this.

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New Student Activity Fee budget funds storage space for unrecognized student groups

On Sunday March 22, the GUSA Senate voted unanimously in support of the Student Activity Fee budget allocations to determine the financial fate of student groups on campus for the 2016 fiscal year. The budget also provides for the funding of an on-campus storage space for unrecognized student groups.

In the report released by GUSA Finance & Appropriations Committee (FinApp), the committee expects to collect $1,009,650 from the Student Activity Fee, marking an increase in $11,250 from the previous fiscal year.

According to GUSA Finance and Appropriations Committee Chair Robert Shepherd (COL ’15), the most notable addition to this year’s budget are the allocations to the ABCS athletic trainer and the Center for Social Justice. “The ABCS trainer did not impact any of our allocations to groups’ programming budgets, even though it was a hefty expense,” he told Vox.

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This Week in the Voice: Spring Fashion 2015

In this week’s feature, Sophie Super and Pam Shu dressed up some of your fellow Hoyas for the Voice‘s guide to spring fashion for 2015. Check out the print edition for the full spread of vibrant and fun photos that capture this season’s style.

News investigates a potential $5 million grant to Georgetown from the Japanese government and the opening of the new Booth Family Center for Special Collections in Lau to house rare library resources.

Leisure gets you pumped up for this Friday’s Groove Theory showcase and gives a complimentary review of Killer Joe, a collaboration between Mask and Bauble Dramatic Society and Nomadic Theatre.

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New GOP financial aid budget could impact Georgetown students

The House Republicans have proposed a budget that would freeze levels of financial aid for college students, decreasing the amount available and making it harder to pay off loans in the future. This proposal is based on their belief that President Barack Obama’s current increase of student aid is too expensive and misdirected.

In this budget, the GOP plans to maintain the level of the Pell Grant, a type of student financial aid that does not have to be repaid, at 5,775 dollars for ten years. This means the grant would not change with inflation.

These changes will also reduce the amount of students eligible for the grant, since certain members of the GOP believe that currently the grant’s funds are going to students who are not very needy.

In an interview with Vox, Scott Fleming, Associate Vice President for Federal Relations at Georgetown expressed his concern with the proposal. “[It] offers no favors to students…and will cause students to fall further behind,” he said.

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Georgetown to host second Ignatian Q conference

From Friday March 27 to Sunday March 29, Georgetown will host Ignation Q, a conference that aims to discuss and explore the intersections of religious and queer identities.

This is only the second year of the conference. Last spring it was held at Fordham University; Georgetown won the bid to host it for 2015.

Members of the Georgetown LGBTQ community, along with a committee led by Brian Council (MSB ’16), Thomas Lloyd (SFS ’15), Meghan Ferguson (COL ’15), and Nicholas Werner (MSB ’17), have put in a lot of hard work to make this event possible.

In an interview with Vox, Werner said, “My goal for the conference is two-fold. Firstly, I’d like to see the compatibility between holding religious beliefs while also holding an LGBTQ identity discussed and reconciled, which for many of us in the community is a real internal struggle. Second, I want other schools to see the Georgetown model of successful LGBTQ support.”

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Club (Sports) or Die: Boxing

In this week’s Club (Sports) or Die, Vox reached out to the Georgetown University Boxing Club team. While boxing itself may be a highly individual sport, outside of the ring there is a powerful sense of camaraderie.

“Club sports like boxing bring people together who share a passion and can build friendships from that. I have made many friends from being on this team, and it’s also taught me a lot about discipline and hard work both in and out of the ring,” club boxing member Sinead Schenk (COL ’17) explained to Vox in an interview.

For co-captain Jeffrey Wong (MSB ’16), the team dynamic of boxing becomes obvious during practice. “We help each other prepare for fights together by training and pushing each other to work harder in practice,” he told Vox. “And when fight time comes, we hope to be as prepared as possible so that each of us is confident in each other to compete at a high level in the ring.”

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GUSA takes stock of on-campus smoking policies

Earlier this March, the GUSA Freshmen Executive Committee created a feedback forum concerning Georgetown’s on-campus smoking policies. The forum, combined with the results a student survey, may encourage GUSA to support the enforcement of stricter smoking rules on campus.

The Freshmen Executive Committee planned both the survey and forum in order to assess student opinion before undergoing any potential advocacy for a policy change.

According to GUSA freshmen outreach coordinator Reed Howard (SFS ’17), one of GUSA’s most common mistakes is acting before it actually understands the views of the student body. “GUSA should always be driven by the vision of the student body, not the other way around,” Howard wrote in an email to Vox.

Howard joined Mattie Haag (COL ’18) , the director of marketing for advocacy, and David Patou, advocacy chair for the Freshmen Executive Committee, in putting together the smoking forum and survey. In emails to Vox, both Haag and Patou wrote that Georgetown should tighten campus restrictions on smoking.

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Vox Gets into Treble: Spring Fling

As we come to the close of midterms and begin to welcome warmer weather, get into the mood with this spring fling mix! Remember Hoyas—Georgetown Day is just under a month away, are you ready? Vox is.

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SoulCycle to replace Wisconsin Ave hookah bar

Hoyas, get your workout pants and bright reusable water bottles ready, because everybody’s favorite contemporary fitness club, SoulCycle, is coming very close to us. To 1024 Wisconsin Ave. NW, in fact.

Yes, you read that right. Last week, the Washington Business Journal broke the news that SoulCycle will be opening at what used to be an Arabic-themed hookah bar, Prince Cafe.

The new SoulCycle location, the Journal reports, will contain 56 bikes where the club will hold its spinning classes. It will also contain a shop that sells SoulCycle merchandise, because heck, if it’s easy enough to get $5 large-sized skim iced lattes with two shots of sugar-free hazelnut syrup, a sachet of Splenda, and a dash of cinnamon (does that even taste good?) then this neighborhood’s next major social advance must be to make it easier for anyone to find their souls. Even if that means overpriced teal-colored T-shirts that you can wear to your SoulCycle class.

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