GUSA Roundup: Unfounded, incendiary, and flat-out irresponsible
GUSA’s intended punishment for the Voice
Senator Nick Troiano (COL ’11) shot back at the critics of GUSA’s funding board reform at yesterday’s meeting, delivering an eight-minute rebuttal to a recent Voice editorial, which advocated against the reform. In Troiano’s words, he wanted to “set the record straight.” He described the editorial’s claim that reform could “threaten the funding sources for clubs and sports teams” as “unfounded, incendiary remarks, that I believe are flat-out irresponsible for a campus media outlet to state.”
Troiano cited a 2006 referendum that passed with 91 percent of the vote to give GUSA the power to appropriate Student Association funds as evidence that the student population was in support of the reform. He said that “91 percent of students disagree with the editorial board” on the board’s assertion that giving the Senate absolute control over the student activities fee threatens student clubs and student life on campus.
Troiano said that the Financial Appropriations committee was still committed to the reforms and pledged that the committee would meet one on one with all the advisory boards in the next semester. In closing, he called for “responsible reporting” and asked that the Voice editorial board amend their editorial in the next issue—which was met with a great deal of applause from the GUSA senate.
The rest of the meeting was tame in comparison to Troiano’s fiery denunciation of the Voice. Vice President Jason Kluger (MSB ’11) announced that the GUSA executive was looking into discounted meals at Booeymongers for students meeting with their professors and continuing to explore the possibility of buses to the basketball games. Kluger also announced that the student-driven Safe Rides program had a start date next semester.
GUSA passed three pieces of legislation at the meeting. The first, which passed easily, was sponsored by Josh Mogil (COL ’11) and Troiano and established a student advisory board on campus advocacy. The board is meant to study student advocacy at Georgetown and give recommendations to the GUSA Senate. Mogil said that unlike neighboring institutions, such as American University, Georgetown lacks a group that can advocate and advise students facing charges of violating the student code of conduct, which he called “shocking.” The board, which will be chaired by a GUSA senator, cannot create a student advocacy group and only has the power to offer recommendations to GUSA.
The second resolution, which passed unanimously, allocated $500 to the Justice and Diversity in Action Living and Learning Community. The $500 was used to fund a fundraiser held by the group last night. Senator Matthew Ginsberg (COL ’11) said that in the future, funding requests should be submitted before the event itself, but ultimately voted for the funding with the rest of the Senate.
A final resolution extended the funding for GUSA town halls into February. The funding for town halls was supposed to be used by November, but to date there has only been one town hall and much of the money remains unspent.
During the Good of the Order period of the Senate, Colton Malkerson (COL ’13) urged transparency in all board meetings, stressing that as GUSA calls for more transparency in advisory boards, they don’t want “any sense of hypocrisy.” Malkerson also asked if records of attendance were going to be made available to the public. Speaker Adam Talbot (COL ’12) stated that the records are available online and asked the GUSA secretary to prepare a report on senate attendance to see if some senators had failed to pass the attendance threshold.