Sunday afternoon, the GUSA Senate unanimously passed “An ACT to create a Speaker’s Commission on Inclusion and Safety.” In a continuation of the efforts spearheaded by the Safe Transitions Working Group in August of 2012, the bill created a Commission to address issues related to residential safety, nondiscrimination, and mix-ed gender housing options. “Incidents of violence, harassment, discomfort are unacceptably high for LGBTQ freshman in particular,” said Speaker of the Senate Nate Tisa. “Dozens have to switch rooms, and many transfer out of Georgetown every year.”
The Commission will be co-chaired by Speaker Tisa of Village A and Senator Jay Factor of Village B/Nevils, and will be responsible for making recommendations to the administration in order to affectively address issues such as those highlighted in the Working Group’s report which include discrimination against and exclusion of LGBTQ students in student housing.
The Commission will not only focus on issues that affect Georgetown’s LGBTQ community address a wide variety of issues that effect the Georgetown student body as a whole such as instances of relationship and gender violence and mixed gender housing options.
“The Inclusion and Safety Commission will bring together a cross section of campus, both from the groups commonly affected and not,” Tisa said. “Jay Factor and I really want to emphasize that this is an issue that affects everyone, certainly not just LGBTQ students. It’s a question about what kind of residential experience we want to have at Georgetown, and the Senate is committed to making it an inclusive one.”
Tisa went on to state that although GUSA does not unilaterally support cohabitation, GUSA does hope that the Commission will increase the percentage of upperclassmen who chose to live on campus.
The Commission is open to all undergraduate students, and will begin holding regular meetings next week.