Speaker George Spyropoulos resigns, funding reform passed at GUSA meeting
Amidst the snow and finals angst, the GUSA senate met Sunday night to pass a resolution to reform student group funding as well as witness the resignation of their Speaker, George Spyropoulos (SFS ’14).
The meeting began a touch dramatic. Spyropoulos announced he had an announcement and proceeded to pass out his letter of resignation. Citing how he had felt satisfied with what he had accomplished and how he wished for his last months the hilltop to be a little more quiet, Spyropoulos passed off his title to Vice Speaker Sam Greco (SFS ’15).
In his resignation letter, Spyropoulos wrote, “I am now looking at my last semester as an undergraduate and I am convinced that the time has come for me to pass the torch to the next generation of student leaders.”
To the Senate Spyropoulos said, “It has honestly been an honor and privilege working with each and everyone of you, and I will miss you all dearly. I have every confidence in you that you will continue that work that we have been doing.”
The other business of the night centered around Senator Seamus Geurin‘s (COL ’16) Resolution on the Pending Reallocation of the Student Activity Funding, which asks the Division of Student Affairs to change how it distributes monies to student organizations. After Saber, a GUSA report on advisory board funding, the resolution is the next advance by GUSA to improve outdated student group funding at Georgetown. The resolution passed unanimously.
The advisory boards (SAC, PAAC, Club Sports, CSJ, and Media Board) as well as the Georgetown Program Board (GPB) are funded both by the Division of Student Affairs (DoSA) as well as GUSA’s Finance and Appropriations Committee (FinApp). DoSA, however, uses numbers allocations numbers from the 1990s. FinApp is left to make up the funding disparity between advisory boards. Club Sports, for example, is only given $7,000 by DoSA each year; FinApp is left to allocate much more money to Club Sports relative to other boards.
Guerin quipped, “We are asking them to fix how they cut their pie, so we can fix how we cut our pie.”
The resolution calls for a reallocation of DoSA funds by proportionality. In this model, DoSA would fund each board an amount proportional to the total amount of their budget. According to FinApp numbers, this would mean DoSA would fund 25.63% of advisory boards’ budgets. This model also calls for a re-calculation of the percent proportion every two to four years.
During debate, Senator and member of FinApp Patrick Spagnuolo (SFS ’14) spoke to his decision to vote against this model in committee,”At worst the proportional model will have same issue we currently have in a few years if DoSA does not reevaluate proportions regularly. But despite its drawbacks, I encourage anyone’s support of this bill.”
Senator Abby McNaughton (COL ’16) expressed support, “This resolution most addresses what we are trying to fix, even if is the hardest to implement.”