GUSA Roundup: Playing favorites, playing for favors
Sunday afternoon, GUSA Senate passed a bill aimed at reforming Georgetown’s disciplinary system and additionally approved an amendment to create a subcommittee concerned with food service on campus.
An end to retributive justice
Introduced by Vice Speaker Zach Singer (SFS ’15), the “Revitalization of the Disciplinary Process” bill presents freshmen with a means of erasing their first Class A violation from their record, if the student commits no other violation for the three following semesters. The bill also promotes a uniform time frame between infraction and adjudication, in the interest of the student’s testimony.
A Class A violation at Georgetown University includes, but is not limited to, illegal consumption or possession of alcohol and noise violations.
Singer spoke on freshman year being a time of exploring and making mistakes, and that the disciplinary system should seek to educate, not merely adjudicate. Georgetown University’s Student Conduct website states its intent to be an educational system. Singer believes this bill will make that claim more legitimate.
“I was at a party earlier this year on a rooftop. It wasn’t crazy. A DPS officer came up and literally everyone ran. That was the reaction. I was one who stayed, and the officer said he was just looking for a lost purse that was reported. And this is the system we’ve created,” Singer said.
Senator Ben Mishkin (COL ’13) raised multiple objections, saying that a Class A violation does not hold significant ramifications in the long term and that the bill does not take into account those who did not get caught drinking.
Sen. Ben Weiss (COL ’15) responded to Mishkin, “Class A violations can effect student housing and study abroad. I have friends who had to live in VCE as juniors. It’s unfair to be relegated to such a horrible place. I myself lived there last year. And yes, if you have a perfect record, like do you want a sticker? You’re not hurt by someone else benefiting from this bill.”
The bill passed 19 to 1.
Sometimes, bureaucracy is the answer
Sen. Sam Greco (SFS ’15) brought to the floor an amendment for the creation of a Subcommittee on Food Service. “I believe campus dining is one of the top criticism students have here on campus, and it would be terribly negligent for this body not to address,” said Greco.
Greco caused a stir when he spoke of the bill’s route to the Senate floor. “Despite the efforts of Speaker Tisa to stop this bill from appearing the floor today, I’d like to thank the twenty of my fellow senators who co-signed to allow it to be introduced,” Greco said.
Speaker Nate Tisa (SFS ’14) denied the claim, stating the bill was never discussed in Ways and Means, the committee in which Tisa purportedly obstructed the bill.
Greco later issued a statement: “I felt very strongly about the bill. I feel that it’s an incredibly important topic, and clearly by its unanimous passage the rest of the senate did as well. I had been told that in Ways and Means the Speaker opposed its introduction, and so I assertively pursued its introduction on the floor in order to best serve the Georgetown student body.”
Some senators raised concern that such a committee might act as simply another rabbit hole of bureaucracy. “An additional form of bureaucracy is not the best way to solve the issue,” said Sen. Shane Thomas (COL ’15).
Sen. Jay Factor (SFS ’14), however, lauded Greco’s effort. “This is a committee with a goal in mind with people willing to work on this. I don’t see any reason not to create a committee. It’s not like we are paying Greco to do this,” Factor said.
“Well, Greco is paying me for favors,” said Sen. Cannon Warren (SFS ’14).
The amendment to establish the subcommittee passed unanimously.