GUSA Roundup: New year, same senate

Yesterday’s meeting of the Georgetown University Student Association senate found itself preparing for several big issues of the upcoming semester, including the endowment referendum, the student life report, and the executive election.

Poll-dancing

The senate passed an act to install a physical voting booth in Leo’s to give students another reminder to vote on the endowment referendum. The booth would have three computers and be monitored by a paid, independent worker from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the three days of voting later this month.

According to the act’s author, Nathaniel Tisa (SFS ’14), this would be the first physical polling location since GUSA switched over to voting via email.

Besides allowing the election commission to better monitor election analytics, the polling booth would ideally increase voter turnout and help the referendum pass its 2,000-vote threshold to be deemed valid. The polling location will also serve as a pilot program for future elections.Once the voting booth is in place, no electioneering will be allowed with Leo’s.

Speaking of public displays of politicking, GUSA Vice President Greg Laverriere (COL ’12) informed the room to expect another giant banner sponsored by a few members of the GUSA executive in favor of the three endowment referendum proposals to appear in Red Square.

The executive’s briefs

During the executive briefing, Laverriere announced the official date for the release of the student life report: February 6. Before then, the authors of the completed report will discuss the findings with President John DeGioia and Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olson. He declined to give away any of the report’s findings.

Laverriere also said that the executive had a general meeting about the student code of conduct with several university administrators involved with discipline. This week, they are having a follow-up meeting to formalize the role of the Student Advocacy Office in university disciplinary proceedings. One way it is being included is that the email a student receives about being written up will include on campus resources like the SAO, campus ministry, and RAs.

Finally, the senate also altered existing bylaws to create a three-week transition period for newly-elected GUSA executives to learn the ropes. This transition period would only nominally affect the annual budget summit in that, instead of the president and vice president presenting their budget, the president- and vice president-elect will be present.

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