Last Sunday, members of the Georgetown University Student Association decided to bail out a quickly depleting account that funds weekend service of Georgetown University Transit Shuttles. During the April 26 meeting, GUSA senators disclosed that the funds were being spent at an alarming rate to fund continued service.
The allocation of an additional $5,000—voted in by a narrow majority of 11 in favor, 10 against, and 1 abstention—will fund approximately 65 percent of the GUTS service with the remainder expected to be picked up by other groups at the University. Debate over the measure was prolonged and occasionally heated with a number of Senators arguing it should not be the role of GUSA to bail out the funds.
“I think one of the most frustrating aspects of this for me is the way blame for this has been offloaded onto GUSA,” Speaker of the Senate Adam Talbot said during the meeting.
“This is a service that the University ought to be providing if it wishes to be the University it claims to be. I’ve been incredibly frustrating as I’ve watched the news reports on this develop,” he added. “It’s quite shameful the way this has been perpetrated so far.”
Talbot eventually concluded that, despite his frustration, students should add money to the funds, an opinion that was shared by GUSA Vice President Jason Kluger.
“The function of the GUSA Fund is to help out students in any way possible … and fill any void in student life,” Kluger explained.
Most students who expressed support for the motion believed that it would be irresponsible for GUSA to fail to finance GUTS service as they have been the source of funding in the past.
“I supported the GUTS appropriation because I think it is a vitally important service to this campus that we could not in good conscience, allow to fail,” Senator Adam Mortillaro, one of the most vocal supporters of the bill, wrote in an email.
Editor’s note: Embedded reporter Eric Pilch took the two videos in this post of Wednesday night’s massacre at Rose Park. The first is of GWU’s hordes advancing on the intrepid band of Hoyas, the second is of some of the action on the battlefield. If you got sick watching Cloverfield, you probably shouldn’t watch them.
Starting around 6 p.m., the Georgetown contingent of roughly 50 students began to assemble on the north side of Rose Park at 26th and O Streets, gathering on top of a hill that strategically overlooked the park. It was difficult to tell how many people from GWU had shown up when they advanced en masse from the other side of the park a few minutes later, but the ratio was at least 4:1 in GW’s favor.
Dean of the Georgetown University Law Center T. Alexander Aleinikoff has been appointed to serve as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights starting on February 1, according to a University broadcast e-mail. According to the UN, the office of the Comissioner for Human Rights “leads global human rights efforts [and] speaks out objectively in the face of human rights violations worldwide.”
Aleinikoff will remain as Dean of the Law Center until late January when he will move to Geneva, Switzerland where the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is located.
Aleinikoff first joined the Georgetown Law faculty in 1997. According to his faculty page, he has published in the areas of “immigration refugee and citizenship law and policy, constitutional law, statutory interpretation and race discrimination.”
Later, he served as associate dean for research from 2003 to 2004 until becoming dean of the Law Center and executive vice president of Georgetown University in 2004. He is also one of the highest paid staff members at Georgetown, with an annual salary of $390,130, according to the 990 report from the 2007-2008 school year.
The full email sent to the campus community by President DeGioia after the jump.
This month’s ANC meeting was low on the fireworks, but neighbors turned out to protest valet parking by the Georgetown Club and continue their battle against late night pizza.
Philly P has been a common topic of discussion at ANC meetings this year, with neighbors loudly grumbling about late-night patrons of the restaurant (read: students). The discussion was largely a rehashing of old complaints, but Commissioners passed an important resolution for the upcoming January 12 hearing with the D.C. Board of Zoning Adjustment. The resolution allowed ANC Commissioners to present their findings at the upcoming Zoning hearing and act as a party with full rights to present evidence and testify.
Student Commissioner Aaron Golds voted against the resolution, which passed by a vote of 5-1.
Commissioners and residents remain steadfast in their efforts to shut down Philly Pizza, charging that it is a fast food restaurant.
Georgetown Club Valet Parking
A surprising amount of time at yesterday’s meeting went to discussing the parking arrangement for the Georgetown Club, located at 1530 Wisconsin Ave. Neighbors complained that valet parking was creating a public safety hazard by blocking traffic on Volta Place. ANC Commissioners also chastised the establishment for failing to send a representative to the meeting. A resolution was unanimously passed that encouraged the Public Safety Board to allow valet parking at night during a special trial period to ensure the Club was responsive to neighbor complaints.
This week, the Voice sat down to talk with Chester Gillis, who was named Dean of the College at the end of last year. We included a portion of the interview in today’s paper, but here’s the full transcript!
The Voice:How you are adjusting to this new job as Dean of the College? Do you find it particularly challenging or interesting?
Chester Gillis: Well in terms of adjusting, fortunately I had a year as interim dean to get the lay of the land. It was just a very good introduction to the position; it was very helpful. So in some ways this year, I’m doing some things for the second time, like last year, but also now I can implement a vision for the next five years. Are there challenges? There are a range of challenges. There are always a range challenges with this job. One is simply attending to multiple constituencies: the students, of course, the faculty, the alumni, the donors and the multiple stakeholders in the University from outside so it’s a very large constituency, very large, so any waverings tend to come from that, just like today. It’s just the reality.
That said, I have a superb staff here in the office, who are very knowledgeable, very experienced, and very helpful to make everything work so the leadership does the execution is happy on may levels and that makes everything possible. It’s as simple as that.
The Voice:I’ve spoken to a few students who are very excited about the proposed creation of a business minor in the college. I was wondering if you had any plans in the future for more of these cross-disciplinary majors?
Gillis: Specific ones, there are none at present. We’ll have to see how this one goes we’re working hard on it to make it happen.
The Voice: Do you have any idea of what the time frame would be?
Gillis: I don’t want to be held to saying next year. I would love to see it next year. I’d love to take my time do it right and do it quickly, but it requires a lot of coordination with the business school and the college and the provost’s office, so it’s not something you can simply fashion overnight.
We can’t even say, “Oh, we’ll just duplicate the program we already have.” But I think once it’s done it will have a long shelf time, and if it’s successful, then it can be a model for other kinds of programs between schools. But this is a good start and it’s an important start. We haven’t done it before, so it sets benchmark, and that’s another reason we want to do it well and do it carefully so it is successful. If it doesn’t benefit our students, if it’s not well-designed, it’s not good. If it is well-designed and it benefits students, then I’m in favor, and it could serve as a model.
On Wednesday, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair appeared in Gaston Hall as part of the Common Word Between US and You: A Global Agenda for Change Conference. The gathering at Georgetown, intended to encourage dialogue and promote peace between Muslims and Christians, comes after similar events at Yale Theological Seminary and Cambridge University in 2008.
Blair appeared as part of the World Leaders Forum alongside former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia (and former Georgetown Professor) Anwar Ibrahim, former Prime Minister of Norway Kjell Magne Bondevik, and the Grand Mufti of Bosnia-Herzegovina Mustafa Cedric. Riz Khan, host of the Al-Jazzera program that bears his name, moderated the discussion.
Each of the panelists gave a short speech, punctuated by good-humored jokes from the moderator Khan.
“I want to say how humble I feel in the presence of so many holy people. I think I’ve been brought along to balance it out a little,” Blair said.
Gaston Hall was filled to capacity at the start of the event, with mostly conference participants on the floor and students in the balcony seating.
All of the participants emphasized that peace and understanding between Christians and Muslims would be critical to achieving harmony in the twenty-first century.
“The way forward involves the pursuit of working together—Christians, Muslims, and Jews—in a universal community of the human race, a harmonious and enriching experience of living together among people of diverse religions and cultures,” Anwar Ibrahim said.
On Thursday night, students from the Diversity working groups commissioned by President John DeGioia’s office gathered for a town hall meeting in Copley Formal Lounge. Although the meeting was sparsely attended, a number of prominent administrators were present, and a wide range of ideas on diversity were presented.
For a more thorough examination of the working group’s progress, see Lily Kaiser’s article in the print edition of the Voice.
Vice President for Strategic Development Dan Porterfield explained that the groups had been working hard over the summer to draft concrete recommendations for Provost James O’Donnell and DeGioia.
“[The working groups examined] how can we increase the number of underrepresented groups in the undergraduate population … [and] how can we ensure that all students who are applying to Georgetown hear a clear and compelling message about the standards of citizenship, civic engagement, and respect present,” Porterfield said.
When the meeting was opened up to members of the audience, the discussion became more heated with one individual shouting loudly at the assembled members of the working groups. A faculty member (who did not give her name) also supported the statements of the irate audience member and argued passionately that Georgetown needed to pursue greater recruitment of minority Professors.
“We’re weaving and creating stronger connections among students … that, as much as possible, breaks down some of the walls and divisions that we experience at our life together at Georgetown,” Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olson said.
Although the specific recommendations generated by the working groups remain to be seen, panelists spoke out strongly for programs geared toward recruiting minority students, the creation of minority studies programs, and stronger financial aid programs.
According to emails obtained by the Voice, in mid-April the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Affirmative Action filed a complaint with Media Board, the funding board that oversees student media, over the Hoya‘s April Fools Issue. On April 22, Media Board issued sanctions, including a one year delay of the Hoya‘s planned independence.
The Hoya appealed Media Board’s ruling, citing their unwillingness to remain tied to the University, but their appeal was denied on June 16, documents show. A three person appeals board composed of Father Christopher Steck, S.J., GUSA President Calen Angert (MSB ’11), and Faculty Senate President Wayne Davis decided that Media Board had acted within their rights and that the ruling should not be overturned.
The Voice will have more information in our Friday issue.
The Wooden Birds are no stranger to Georgetown. If you were impressed by their April concert put on by WGTB, stop by the Rock and Roll Hotel this evening for a show with Oklahoma-based Other Lives. Tickets are $12, and bring some cash for the late night cab ride to Union Station.
Legendary indie rockers The Lemonheads reunited in 2005 after an eight-year hiatus. Although their latest album offers no original music, it does feature covers of Gram Parsons and Leonard Cohen and has garnered mild praise. They’re stopping by the Black Cat during a brief East Coast tour this Saturday. Tickets are steep at $15, and doors open at 9:00.
Femi Kuti crafts outstanding Afro-beat music often featuring thirty-minute songs and long brass jam sessions. Kuti is also well known in his native Nigeria for taking a stand against government and corporate corruption. Tickets to his show at the 9:30 Club are pricey at over $25, but he’s sure to impress.
I saw DC based Casper Bangs a few weeks ago at the Black Cat, and his opening show was highly impressive. On Tuesday, Bangs and the band will be putting on an acoustic performance at Asylum with a cover of only $5. Check out his personal website to keep tabs on upcoming 9:30 and Fort Reno concerts.
This week’s ANC meeting was low on excitement and high on references to the “historic nature” of the Georgetown neighborhood. Ward 2′s DC Councilmember Jack Evans was scheduled to make an appearance at the meeting, but was forced to cancel due to an “unavoidable conflict.” ANC members speculated the Evans could be at tonight’s Capitols game, but these charges were vigorously denied by one of Evans’ staff members.
After a healthy fifteen minute discussion over the restoration of Georgetown light poles, the Commissioners turned to serious business. The District Department of Transportation, or DDOT, is evaluating whether commercial “sandwich signs” should be allowed on DC streets. ANC members expressed their strong opposition to the proposal and passed a resolution that was designed to keep our streets signage free.
GERMS Director of Public Relations Breanda Maggiore also stopped by the meeting to inform residents of the group’s services. Maggiore was a hit with the ANC Commissioners, who hailed his community comment as among the most successful ever. Commissioner Tom Birch was extremely surprised that GERMS services were free.
Finally, a representative from the ITU World Championship Triathlon appeared before the Commissioners. Amateur contestants in the triathlon will be biking primarily on Whitehurst Freeway, but the route briefly touches Georgetown’s own Canal Road. Commissioners seemed skeptical of the proposal, but no one was willing to stand in the way of an event that serves as an Olympic qualifier. If you’re in DC on June 21st, the Dextro Energy Triathlon might be worth checking out.
This meeting may have been low on excitement, but look for a full recap next month with (fingers crossed) an appearence by Vox favorite Jack Evans.