GUSA talks SAFE reform at second town hall meeting
Attendees discussed the previously proposed reform plan, as well as a potential increase in the student activities fee. According to Greg Laverriere (COL ’12), FinApp Committee chairperson, Georgetown’s student activities fee is less than 75 percent of fees at peer institutions. The proposed increase could range from $5 to $100.
Laverriere added that student feedback encouraged FinApp Committee to consider the proposed student activities fee increase. Citing general conversations he’s had with other students, he said that the low student activities fee translates to underfunded student groups, which adds to general dissatisfaction with the university. Laverriere also claimed that some students are surprised to learn how little of Georgetown’s tuition is allocated towards student activities.
Although GUSA Senators has previously discussed the policy with Georgetown administrators, according to Laverriere, the University was not receptive to devoting a greater proportion of tuition monies to student activities.
During the meeting, Ross Jang (MSB ’12) asked about the future of SAFE reform. Laverriere said the FinApp Committee will digest student feedback this week and propose a more finalized plan at a third town hall meeting, scheduled for next Thursday. After that meeting, FinApp Committee and the entire GUSA body will need to pass the reform before it is put to a student referendum.
The referendum will most likely include a minimum voter threshold to pass, to guarantee that a certain number of students participate in the voting process. According to Laverriere, this measure will legitimize the referendum.
Before the referendum, the FinApp Committee will encourage student groups and clubs to get out the vote.
“We [need to] do a good job educating the students,” Adam Mortillaro (COL ’12), GUSA speaker, said.
Student turnout for the meeting, excluding GUSA Senators, was in the single digits. Laverriere urged students who complained about the proposed reform based on “what hey read in the Voice and Hoya‘s coverage” to attend next week’s meeting.