GUSA Roundup: GU-SPAN and a diversity debate
At this week’s Georgetown University Student Association Senate meeting, the Senate voted down the only legislation that came up for a vote—institutionalizing GU-SPAN—but not before they had debated the measure extensively. After rejecting the legislation, the Senate turned to voicing their opinions on recent area crimes and the suggestions of the diversity initiative, which they seem generally opposed to.
Institutionalizing GU-SPAN: It’s unclear what motivated Speaker Adam Talbot (COL ’12) to introduce the “Act to Amend the By-Laws to Institutionalize the Georgetown University Student Public Affairs Network.” The network, better know as GU-SPAN, live-streams meetings of the GUSA Senate, and has approximately 5 regular viewers. Talbot’s bill would have created an administrator for GU-SPAN in charge of live-streaming the GUSA meetings.
Talbot suggested that the position, which would take four to five hours a week, include a stipend of around $300. Senator Colton Malkerson (COL ’13) exhibiting the shrewdness that comes with serving on the Finance and Appropriations Committee, suggested accepting applications for the position without offering a stipend, and only offering the stipend if no one offered to volunteer. Ultimately, however, the Senate voted the bill down even after the Senate had amended the bill to simply make it the responsibility of the vice-speaker to make sure meetings were live-streamed.
Diversity and rising crime: During the Good of the Order Period, Malkerson brought up the suggestions presented last week by the Academic Working Group to create a diversity requirement at Georgetown. Under the requirement, Georgetown students would have to take at least two classes that dealt with diversity issues. Malkerson suggested the Senate pass a resolution on the suggestion next week, and offered his own view.
“I personally have real concerns about this. I think it would just add another layer of burden on students who are trying to figure out their schedules,” Malkerson said.
Talbot noted that the Senate had passed a resolution last year in support of a number of suggestions made by the Student Commission for Unity but that it had voted against passing a resolution in favor of a similarly structured diversity requirement.
Senator Nick Troiano (COL ’11) said that he supported voting next week to reaffirm last year’s vote.
“Diversity can be fostered, it can’t be mandated,” said Troiano.
Still, Talbot noted that GUSA could view the issue differently this year, with a new Senate and with the recommendations coming from a new organization composed of faculty and students.
On crime, Troiano brought up the sexual assault in Copley this past Friday and suggested that the university reconsider its policy on surveillance cameras.
“There is a current policy that there can’t be cameras in residence hall …. Well, I think that policy should be revisited,” he said. “Maybe the ‘Cuddler’ could have been found a really long time ago if there was just a camera there.”