GUSA Roundup: Discretionary budgets created for three committees

Time for some pizza parties

On Sunday, the GUSA Senate voted to create budgets for the Student Life, Community-Building and Outreach, and Academic Affairs Committees to draw small amounts of money from without going to the Finance and Appropriations Committee.

Student Life and Academic Affairs recieved $250 each, while Community-Building and Outreach snagged $500.

The budgets are not set in stone, though; if a committee exceeds its budget, it will simply revert back to the old plan of approval of case-by-case, itemized appeals. The bill passed almost unanimously, with only one tongue-in-cheek “nay” vote.

Student Activities Fee and Endowment Reform

Finance and Appropriations Committee Chairman Greg Laverierre (COL ’12) presented the new plan for the Student Activities Fee and Endowment reform.

Last week, GUSA announced a plan to entail yearly allocation of the student activities fee to student activities, increase the fee on a yearly basis by the rate of inflation, and add the yearly interest earned thus far to the existing student activities endowment.. The proposed policy will more than double the current allocation available to student activities while only requiring a minor yearly increase in the fee.

According to the proposal, SAFE reform “places Georgetown University’s student activities funding in line with policy at peer institutions and ensures that a vibrant and diverse student life flourishes at the University.”

Looking ahead, GUSA will propose a student referendum for the three reforms. On Wednesday at 8 p.m. in Reiss 262, the Senate will hold its first town hall meeting to discuss the reforms.

“The Finance and Appropriations Committee is currently considering broad and fundamental changes to the way the student activities fee is collected,” Laverierre wrote in an email to Georgetown students. “I hope you see you all there!”

Will Georgetown undergrads get Zipcar?

Vice President Jason Kluger (MSB ’11) provided updates for about the progress of GUSA’s new website, the impending launch of the GUSA Fund, the potential installation of on-campus Zipcars, and the weekend GUTS Bus schedule.

The University originally partnered with Zipcar in 2004, but only to provides two cars on the Law Center campus. The main problem for future expansion? A lack of available on-campus parking for cars. However, a creative solution to this issue is unofficially up for deliberation—Zipcar may pay Burleith-residing students for the use of their parking spots.

Plans for a revamped GUSA website are also underway. The site is proposed to launch in the first week of November and will feature blog-style updates and categories of ongoing GUSA news, as well as member profiles, a reorganized room reservation system, and better transparency tools.

“The GUTS Buses should have begun running this weekend, so that’s all gravy,” Kluger added.

A bazaar idea

Yonatan Moscowitz (COL ’11) joined Sunday’s meeting with a five-minute presentation about his brainchild, the “Idea Bazaar.” Moscowitz pitched the concept as an “online suggestion box” for members of the Georgetown community. He introduced the idea, appealing for GUSA’s support in order to get the idea off the ground.

“If the administrators want to know if the students have any good ideas on how to solve some of the issues that keep coming up … then they can use Idea Bazaar as a tool to engage with them,” he said.

5 Comments on “GUSA Roundup: Discretionary budgets created for three committees

  1. Here’s an idea: stop buying yourself expensive toys and give me my money back.

    See, that didn’t even require all the time and effort I’m sure you put into “web redesign and outreach”.

  2. @Jacob

    As an individual student, you contributed roughly $3 to this year’s GUSA budget. If you got a refund, that wouldn’t even be enough for a Chicken Madness.

    Alternatively, you could realize that if there are issues you want to see GUSA addressing that they aren’t, you could always go to a meeting or talk to your Senator.

  3. Do you even read your own propaganda? Go to the GUSA site you will find mention of “the institution of a Student Activities Fee of $50, paid by every student”
    You compelled 50 bucks out of me so you could fund a redesign of a website no one (including yourselves apparently) reads and investigate a car program that will just end up giving a ton of money to Burleith residents who will hate it. But assuming you are telling the truth, maybe you would like to tell me where the other $47 went?

    And no, I will not contact my “Senator” who won an election in which fewer than 40 people voted. I have no need to have a self important resume stuffer yammer on about “campus outreach” and “our vibrant and diverse student life.”

  4. @Jacob,

    Dude, come on. The Student Activities Fee funds, you know, student activities. $3 of that went to GUSA… the rest went to all of the other activities that are funded by the fee. So the rest of that money went to SAC, to the Media Board, to Club Sports, to the CSJ Student Organizations, to GPB, and to the Performing Arts Advisory Council… as well as other smaller allocations to Welcome Week and Homecoming. The full allocation is available here, just like all GUSA legislation: http://box.net/gusa#gusa/1/40298948/413608492/1

    It’s not like GUSA imposed the Student Activities Fee on the student body without its consent. In fact, the student body overwhelmingly voted to institute the fee and give GUSA administrative power over it not once but twice, in 2001 by a vote of 1066-350 (http://thehoya.com/news/after-confusion-referendum-passes/) and in 2006 by a vote of 3082-472 (http://thehoya.com/opinion/capitalize-on-gusa-victory/).

    The fee is a huge part of why we can have a diverse and vibrant array of student organizations on campus. It’s not GUSA’s personal slush fund. That’s insanity.

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