GUSA Roundup: Mind on my money, money on my mind

At Sunday’s Georgetown University Student Association Senate meeting, senators announced that another town hall meeting concerning Student Activities Fee and Endowment reform will be held this Wednesday.

Senator Greg Laverierre (COL ’12), chairperson of the FinApp committee, said that the turnout was “less than expected” at last week’s town hall for SAFE reform. Nonetheless, suggestions made by students at the meeting may have a large impact on the new legislation for the Student Activities fee.

“Students brought up the point that Georgetown is at the bottom 25% of universities for [how much students pay for] student activities fees and other universities, like Stanford, collect several hundred more,” Laverierre said.

Although a higher Student Activities fee is currently being considered, Laverierre said the proposed increase would be “incremental,” rather than in the scale of hundreds of dollars.

The idea to raise the Student Activities fee addresses the concern that the current fee would not be able to cover the expenses of student groups in the coming years. Campus organizations, such as the Center for Social Justice, have already dipped into their reserves to cover the costs of current programs.

“[The FinApp committee] originally had a conservative plan for the legislation, but this idea was brought forth at the town hall,” Laverierre added.

The FinApp committee plans to finalize any changes made to SAFE reform legislation after this week’s town hall meeting, and then bring it to the GUSA Senate floor.

10 Comments on “GUSA Roundup: Mind on my money, money on my mind

  1. Going from $50 to $100 would effectively double the amount of money available. Even pegging it to inflation, that’s still a 100% increase. Perhaps we should wait and see if clubs can effectively spend the additional $350,000 rather than increasing the fee by another $50 or $100 or $200?

  2. I think you misunderstood the plan. The current plan is not to increase the fee by any amount other than inflation. You already pay $100 a year, and if this plan is put in place, you’ll only pay about $103 next year. The current plan doesn’t increase the fee by $50, $100, or $200.

    Also, the idea behind increasing funding for student groups is not to simply increase the funding for existing organizations. Instead, the idea is the more money you have available, the more student organizations you can have. Our peer schools with similar undergrad sizes have triple the amount of student groups thane us because they have more funding available. One of the biggest hurdles that keep new student groups from forming is the lack of funding. So, more money = more groups.

    Also, clubs won’t be the only beneficiaries of the availability of additional funds. This will allow us to have bigger and better concerts/speakers through GPB, more funding for club sports to travel to tournaments and compete with the best equipment, more funding for campus media outlets, more funding for performing arts groups, more funding for CSJ programs, etc. And if there’s still money left over after all of this, that’s good! Extra money will allow students to come up with more programs, scholarships, projects, etc.

    We shouldn’t be afraid of extra money, especially when it doesn’t require a major increase in what students pay every year.

  3. The reason for all this extra money is that GUSA is shutting down failed initiative after failed initiative, such as the readership program and the independent endowment. Why should we trust them again with even more money?

  4. @Jacob

    As you would see if you actually read the article, we aren’t trusting them with more money. We’re trusting them with exactly the same amount of money.

  5. @ Danny

    You read the article:
    “a higher Student Activities fee is currently being considered”

    Giving another penny to these people amounts to criminal neglect.

  6. u should voice ur opinion at the town hall wed nite at 9pm. i h8 gusa myself but i think they mean good with this one

  7. If you’ve got such a problem with the way GUSA handles money, then why haven’t any of you run for a senate seat? Half the elections this year were unopposed, if you look at the statistics they sent out. The institution isn’t going away, but if you really feel its being mismanaged try voting in people you like rather than undercutting them at every opportunity.

  8. @Jacob – GUSA criminally neglectful? Outrageous! Let’s incarcerate all freshman GUSA reps!

  9. Readership program a failed initiative? Last time I checked the readership program was incredibly popular, but GUSA didn’t have the money to fund it every year. Another reason to back the SAFE Reform? Indeed.

  10. A few points:

    – For the record, the Readership program was a campus-wide collaborative project of which GUSA was only a part. Over the past couple of years, multiple funding sources have frozen or pulled that funding, to the point where it was no longer for sustainable for GUSA to pick up a larger and larger portion of the tab.

    – I would agree with the commenter above that if anyone has concerns about student cash flow on campus, they should most definitely vote for this referendum.

    – Furthermore, (and I can say this as I am no longer running for anything), as Speaker last year I held a public comment period at every single meeting. Except for the contentious meeting at which we passed Funding Reform, not a single person came and spoke during that period. Ever. Remember, we’re all students too. We want your input and indeed benefit from it. If you don’t care for a particular course of action, it would benefit all involved if you came forward and voiced it.

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