GUSA Roundup: Discretionary budgets created for three committees
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.