GUSA Roundup: Special elections spectacular
SPECIAL ELECTION RESULTS: The election commission ran a successful special election that culminated in the election of the following senators:
- Townhouses: Matthew Ginsberg with 35 votes
- Harbin 6-9: Clara Gustafson with 46 votes
- Copley: Shaalin Parekh with 52 votes
- Village A E-H: Nolan Johnson with 15 votes
The only apparent glitch was that students in the districts received “about three emails or so” for ballots because of a problem with Hoyamail, according to the election commissioners. Nick Troiano (COL ’11—Village A A-D) thanked the election commissioners for running such an impressive election, compared to last year’s chaotic special elections.
The election commissioners noted there were far more candidates per capita for the special election than the actual election. The Harbin seat had nine candidates, the Copley seat had seven candidates, the Townhouses seat had five candidates, and the Village A seat had three candidates. They said in the normal election, there were 35 candidates running for 34 seats, whereas in this election, there were 24 candidates running for four seats.
GUSA President Calen Angert (MSB ’11) attributed the peak in interest to run for GUSA Senate to the timing of the elections.
“You have to have the Senate in place at a certain time, and I think students don’t have their lives together until a certain time,” Angert said. “I think this was a very good indicator of why there wasn’t a good turnout [of candidates] at the start and why there was a good turnout now. There wasn’t any additional advertisement.”
The new senators agreed with Angert’s reasoning and added that the seats seemed more accessible because no one had the elections “wrapped up.”
GEORGETOWN FUND PLANS: Angert told the Senate there was “nothing super new to report on,” but the senators wanted to hear more about the executive’s plans for the proposed GUSA Georgetown Fund. Angert said the current plans are only a rough outline that have not yet been sent to the Finances and Appropriations Committee, but the Senate discussed several aspects of the potential Georgetown Fund.
Angert confirmed that parts of the Georgetown Fund would be earmarked for certain causes, such as diversity initiatives or certain types of events, but a large portion would be kept undefined and unrestricted.
Josh Mogil (SFS ’11—Off Campus) pointed out that SAC provides “insurance” to the clubs it funds, and thus takes some responsibility if something were to happen at a club event. Angert agreed GUSA still needs to research this problem because there may be liability issues if the Georgetown Fund were to give money to non-SAC-funded organizations.
RATS! PART 3: Eric Cusimano (SFS ’10—At Large) and Arman Ismail (COL ‘11—Reynolds) have been working on a bill to continue their project on eradicating Georgetown’s rats. They indicated that the bill will include a “massive information campaign” about cleanliness, but they are not sure how much money to allocate to their project.
They plan to talk more with Facilities and introduce their official bill next week. For more details about Cusimano and Ismail’s conversations with Facilities, you can look at the email from Director of Facilities Management Richard Payant.
BIAS-RELATED ATTACKS: The Senate passed a resolution condemning the bias-related assault of a Georgetown student Tuesday night, and recognizing GU Pride for their quick response. The Public Safety Alert email about Sunday’s second bias-related assault was sent out after the resolution had already been passed.
TRANSPARENCY: As part of GUSA’s initiative for increased transparency, the Senate added to the Senate rules a provision requiring that pending legislation be posted on the GUSA box.net website for viewing before the GUSA meeting, so that both senators and the public are able to post comments and review the legislation before meetings.
ROBBERIES IN MCCARTHY: In the Good of the Order segment of the meeting, Nicholaus Nelson-Goedert (COL ’10—McCarthy) reported that a series of robberies took place in McCarthy on Halloween. He said middle school and high school students posed as trick-or-treaters and took “laptops, cell phones, and the like” when people had left their doors unlocked.
Cusimano pointed to the leniency of student guards and suggested the Student Life Committee look into dorm security. He also said he thought most break-ins were more like “walk-ins,” and said many break-ins are a result of people not locking their doors. But Speaker Adam Talbot (COL ’12—LXR) pointed out, “I can’t think of what more any campus organization could do to remind people to lock their doors.”
Some senators also suggested many buildings have entrances that are not guarded. The issue was referred to the Student Life Committee.
STUDENT SPACE SUMMIT: Talbot attended the Student Space Summit on Monday with the Student Space working group and Vice President of Student Affairs Todd Olson’s office.
Talbot summed it up as: “Basically the consensus among the student body is there isn’t enough student space, and the consensus among the administration is there’s nothing we can do about it right now.”
Talbot said the administration’s long-term strategy is to renovate the New South underground. The old cafeteria used to be under New South, and now there is 25,000-40,000 square feet of space that could be turned into a new student center for some millions of dollars. He said the administration said it could be ready by 2015, which he joked actually meant “hopefully by the time our kids are here, we’ll be looking at a new student center.”