Finalized version of Student Life Report 2012 released
Earlier this week, the Student Life Report committee released their finalized 50-something page document about student life. The report primarily focuses on the advisory boards and GPB, but does summarize intellectual life and administrative accountability too. You can find the entire report at the end of this post, but in case you don’t want to read the entire thing, Vox has pulled out the interesting bits for you.
A big ticket issue on campus is centralized space booking: everyone wants to put all space booking under one office. In addition to that SLR2012 recommends that the university renegotiate with Aramark to give better (and cheaper) access to the ballrooms.
On that note, SLR2012 also recommends reducing or eliminating the fees performing arts groups must pay for space.
In many respects, it seems that Georgetown’s issues may be easily solved by simply making [performance] spaces more readily available and less expensive to use. Almost all groups see the requirement to pay for performance space as a hindrance to their ability to regularly perform or attract large audiences. No other surveyed schools required their student groups to pay for use of performance spaces. (p. 40)
For club sports, SLR2012 mainly wants bureaucratic reform so club sports stops getting the short end of the stick in athletic facilities. Specifically, the reports suggests that club sports be allows to use McDonough after the new athletic center is built and that the hospital not expand onto North Kehoe.
The big ticket item in the SLR1999 was the complete dearth of funding for student organizations on campus. Thus was created the student activities fee. Thirteen years, six points of reform, and a couple referenda later, the amount of money for student organizations isn’t as much of a problem as how it is allocated. One suggestion SLR2012 makes is putting the gift account under GUSA control. Currently donors can give money to “student activities” broadly defined, and the money goes to SAC. SLR2012 says the money should be allocated at the budget summit so more groups have access to the funds.
Also, SLR2012 says student groups should be able to audit themselves, but in order to do this, they need online access to their cost centers and timely charges by for space and such by other campus offices.
Finally on money, the SLR2012 suggests a referendum on whether or not students want to create a separate fee for the Spring Concert. It doesn’t actually call for the creation of the fee, but the report does throw the idea out there.
SLR2012 makes a couple suggestion to increase student autonomy. First and foremost, SLR2012 suggests turning GPB from a quasi-funding board to an actual funding board in charge of alternative programming. This would entail rolling What’s After Dark and Lecture Fund into it.
Another major point SLR2012 talks about is the clarification of the relationships between funding boards (specifically SAC) and their advisors.
As a student-led board allocating Student Activity Fee money to student groups, SAC Commissioners should base their funding decisions off of each other’s informed opinions and feedback from student group leaders. While the CSP Advisor to SAC should play a role in ensuring important adherence to policies as well as offering advice to Commissioners when solicited, the Advisor should not impose upon the independence of the Commissioners.
Finally, SLR2012 calls for administrative support of Hoya independence. Noting that Georgetown is the only major university to not have an independent publication, SLR2012 bemoans the administration’s lack of support for the campus’s newspaper of record.
Of course, if you want the whole report, you’ll have to read it (the first 12 pages are introduction, so you can skip those).