GUSA Executive announces plans for its Student Advocacy Office

The GUSA Executive announced today the creation of the Student Advocacy Office to advise and represent students facing disciplinary violations. Ace Factor (COL ’12) and James Pickens (COL ’12), co-directors of the initiative, proposed a similar initiative during their campaign for the GUSA presidency earlier this spring.

“It’s basically the same idea of having a group of free student advocates to help out and advise students in any disciplinary hearing or any other interaction with the University,” said Pickens. “We’re reaching out to other groups to work on things like a student rights pamphlet. We’ll also work with Residence Life to do programming with freshmen in the fall.”

In theory, student advocates would hold office hours to advise fellow students on how to respond to allegations against them under the Student Code of Conduct. However, the idea is still in its preliminary stages, and Pickens could not readily comment on how exactly this idea would work within the bounds of the present disciplinary system.

“As far as extremely severe violations, such as Class C, we can’t make any promises,” Pickens said. “We still don’t know how we’re going to work with the University and Residence Life.”

The GUSA Executive claims to have received preliminary support from staff in the Office of Residence Life. Residence Life was not available for a statement. The organizers have also reached out to the leaders of the Georgetown University Student Rights Initiative, who have already created their own Guide to Student Discipline and Appeals.

The GUSA Executive plans to send out applications for student advocate positions after Easter Break.

6 Comments on “GUSA Executive announces plans for its Student Advocacy Office

  1. Will this work with or in opposition to the resurrected RJC?

  2. It’s also important to support students that have been victims of crimes, not just those accused of misconduct.

    As the victim of an assault by another student on campus, I can attest to how horrific the Office of Student Conduct was at protecting me from further retaliation by my assailant. I literally had no advocate in the system, and due to the ineptitude of DPS and the OSC, I would have been safer and ultimately better off had I not reported the assault to the university.

    I have high hopes that the Student Advocacy Office can help raise expectations for how students are treated by administrators on campus so that what happened to me never has to happen to anyone ever again.

  3. GUSRI (the Georgetown University Student Rights Initiative) has advocates who have already successfully advised students facing disciplinary action. I encourage any student who needs immediate help to visit http://www.gusri.com!

  4. this sounds like another gusa spur-of-the-moment idea with nothing behind it; like stopcrimesnotparties, i’m willing to bet it folds within a couple weeks. also, based on the poster above and the article itself, sounds like theres some other group already doing this.

  5. @Anon:

    This was actually the signature item of the GUSA Presidential campaign platform of Ace Factor and James Pickens. It sounds like they’re taking the idea they honed on the campaign and putting it into practice — so at least there are two people dedicated to the effort.

  6. @Student:

    well, the idea for GUSRI has been around since early fall. i’m gonna go with anon, this is very typical GUSA – take something that another, independent group is doing well, and try to mimic it with foreseeable poor results. it’s like their practicing for real government jobs

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