GUSA Roundup: Georgetown Day, frats, and taking on sexual assault…again
The 2012-2013 term came to an end on Sunday afternoon, as GUSA held its last meeting for the year. GUSA’s members reflected on the success of Georgetown Day and gave thank yous and fond farewells in anticipation for the three long, lonesome months for which all Georgetown students, but mostly GUSA, will be deprived of GUSA’s presence. In addition, they passed bills concerning group advocacy and ways to further expand sexual assault education.
Georgetown Day was sexy and GUSA knows it
“Last year we had an anonymous student campaign to make sure that the administration didn’t barricade Healy Lawn, and that went down to the wire, in terms of what rights we would and would not have,” Student Life Committee Chair Ben Weiss (COL ’15) said. “Compare that to this year, when we had a lot of really great administrative-student conversations and deliberations. I think we can look to that as a model going forward on how we can all work together.”
Our natural-bro rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of pong
The first bill to be introduced was “an act to create a working group to address the needs of student groups lacking access to benefits,” and will work towards establishing closer ties between GUSA and student groups which are not officially recognized by the University or choose not to receive benefits from the University.
“The impetus for this bill was a discussion regarding the right of students to freely associate with all groups that represent their interests,” said Senator Josh Shinbrot (COL ’16), who introduced the bill. “As an elected representation of the student body at Georgetown, we need to represent all Georgetown students and all of the groups that they associate with.”
The bill’s most significant assistance to these groups will be in the form of easing the process for space reservation and scheduling. The groups that will benefit include fraternities and sororities and all-male or all-female performance groups, as well as some groups that are simply not recognized by the University, such as H*yas for Choice.
Senator Robert Shepherd (COL ’15) raised concerns over this being viewed as “the Frat Bill” and reminded the other members of GUSA that the bill includes many more groups than just the fraternities and sororities.
“George is partial to Greek life,” joked GUSA President Nate Tisa (SFS ’14), after Speaker George Spyropoulos reiterated Shepherd’s point.
The bill passed unanimously.
Fight for sexual assault education not NSOver
Though GUSA tried and ultimately failed to push the administration to make a sexual assault workshop a mandatory part of next year’s NSO, GUSA continues to advocate for sexual assault policy reform. GUSA unanimously passed “a resolution concerning sexual assault education in residence halls.”
The resolution aims to include sexual assault policy at Georgetown as a topic of discussion between RAs and their residents during the year’s first residence hall meeting, in addition to training RAs on how to respond in the advent of a reported sexual assault.
Senator Jimmy Ramirez (COL ’15) introduced the bill. “The whole point is to bring up the campus policy on sexual assault and discussing it more in depth, and also providing resources,” he said. “Residence Life doesn’t currently do this. Currently the first floor meetings just discuss alcohol policy and things of that nature.”
Senator Lawrence Slusky (COL ’13) asked whether consideration had been given to the possibility of the sexual assault discussion being a trigger for some students. Ramirez responded that, while this is a valid concern, silence on the issue is not the proper answer, and great attention will be paid to the wording of sexual assault education materials.