Yesterday’s meeting of the Georgetown University Student Association Senate closed a lot of loose ends from last week’s meeting, including a look into removing the university’s ban on student businesses, membership in the student group union, and that danged textbook resolution.
How to succeed in business without violating university rules
The senate unanimously passed a resolution to look into overturning the university’s ban on student businesses that has been on the books for a while. Basically, the bill allows the student life committee to research the impetus for the ban and to lobby the administration for its removal.
The bill came out of a conversation with the Buyback Brothers, the used textbook resellers who were evicted from Red Square by DPS and the administration, according to Vice Speaker Nate Tisa (SFS ’14). Tisa also wants the university to replace the ban with more common-sense procedures like a ban on fronting.
Speaker Adam Talbot (COL ’12) also brought up that the rule seems to be selectively enforced. The Buyback Brothers were evicted from campus when they compete with the bookstore, while other businesses, like H2Bro, can operate undisturbed.
Solidarity of a different sort
The senate also passed a bill designating the GUSA president to represent the Student Association in front of the Student Group Union. For a brief overview, the SGU is a campus organizaiton composed of and meant to represent student groups on campus. The union has a general body comprised of representatives from the constituent clubs, and they elect an eleven-member executive committee to facilitate coordination among the groups . This bill officially delegated the role of SGU liaison to the GUSA president.
Although the executive would ostensibly be speaking for all of GUSA in front of the SGU, the senate would have the power to opt out of any SGU initiatives, thus making the senate’s relationship with SGU only as close at the senate wants.
But Daniel LaMagna (COL ’13) thought the bill didn’t go far enough. According to him, the GUSA president should have a guaranteed spot on the SGU executive committee.
“It seems it would be odd that the president of the student body would be a rank-and-file member of the SGU,” LaMagna said.
To which the bill’s sponsor and SGU Steering Committee Member Eitan Paul (SFS ’12) responded, “We don’t want [the SGU] to be led by the typical voices that are always invovled in this system… [a guaranteed spot on the executive committee] would give a disproportionate voice to student government.”
However, Paul added, “Someone associated with GUSA could conceivably run for executive.”
The act was authorized under a clause in the GUSA by-laws that effectively allows GUSA to enter into treaties with other organizations.
Tabling Tablets with Talbot
Finally, LaMagna and Ziad Jawadi (COL ’15) reintroduced their e-textbook bill (with a shortened title!) and kind-of, sort-of, maybe gave it some more teeth. But that’s irelevent because it was shot down 6 to 7 (with 5 abstentions).
This time, senators had three main issues with the bill. First, it cited a study (via hyper-link. How’s that for e-media!) about middle schoolers learning algebra as evidence that tablets and eTexts improve grades. Second, the bill implied that the university wasn’t already implementing electronic resources (which they are). And third, although Jawadi and LaMagna kept explaining the bill as simply calling for a formal conversation, the revised language still didn’t say, “We want to have a formal conversation with the administration.”
In response, Jawadi couldn’t understand the opposition because the bill was only asking for a stamp of approval, not money or time from senators.
“We’ve passed bills that do waaaay less then this,” Jawadi said.
And that, kids, was how the electronic textbook bill was stamped with a resolute, albeit digital, “no.”
A brief executive
During the executive’s briefing, Vice President Greg Laverriere (COL ’12) commented on the success of the snack cab last Thursday. They’re going to continues that program at irregular intervals (to keep us surprised!), complete with goodies donated by local businesses.
And when an excited Jawadi announced how amazing the program is because he won a cupcake, Laverriere was quick to note that Jawadi was the only GUSA member to win anything, and he doesn’t want to the program to be misconstrued as a way to funnel baked goods to fellow GUSA bros.
And that brings us to tonight’s Talbotism: The Speaker would like to remind us that GUSA does not engage in cupcake laundering.