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.