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The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

GUSA Passes Dining, Flex Dollar Resolutions

The Georgetown University Student Association (GUSA) Senate passed seven resolutions to improve student dining and support experiences at its Feb. 11 meeting.

The Senate passed resolutions calling for the university to improve dining experiences at Leo J. O’Donovan Dining Hall and Epicurean and Co. (Epi’s), including establishing fruit stations, adding more trash bins, improving water filtration systems and expanding the menu at Epi’s. The Senate also passed proposals to prioritize students’ physical and mental well-being.  

Sahil Sud (SFS ’27), a first-year senator who sponsored the resolution to expand the Epi’s menu, said that an expanded menu could address the needs of students and create a better dining experience.

“A lot of the time people have dietary restrictions or people get sick of eating the same food day after day, so this is just finding ways to improve accessibility,” Sud said at the meeting. “I suggest bringing back old menu items that I’ve heard requests for and then also just keeping the buffet open because then people can customize what they want to eat.”

In response to senators’ concerns that expanded menus could add to dining workers’ stress and see the return of items that were removed for good reason, Vice Speaker Dylan Davis (CAS ’26) said he felt the resolution would spark constructive debate on those issues.

“I think we should pass this legislation because at least it opens up dialogue, so these conversations and all the concerns that are being brought right now will be taken into account,” Davis said at the meeting.

The Senate also passed a resolution to increase the accessibility of toiletries, hygiene products and medicine on campus by granting students additional debit dollar funds, since flex dollars can only be spent on food and beverages.

Senator Ethan Henshaw (CAS ’26) said adding debit dollars would allow students to save money at the end of the year by buying necessities instead of only being able to buy food.

“Right now you’re mandated to spend all your flex dollars or else you lose them at the end of the year, but you can’t spend them on toiletries, hygiene products and medicine,” Henshaw said at the meeting.

Henshaw said students would get $50 extra in debit dollars under his resolution. 

“If you still want to spend it on food, that’s available to you, but now you can save some money by spending the extra money on medicine, books,” Henshaw said.

Aamir Jamil/The Hoya | The Georgetown University Student Association (GUSA) Senate passed seven resolutions to improve student dining and support experiences, including expanding the menu at Epi’s and improving GUTS bus service on the weekends, at its Feb. 11 meeting.

The Senate also passed a resolution to expand the Georgetown University Transportation Shuttle (GUTS) bus service, urging the university to make the Rosslyn and Dupont Circle routes operate earlier in the day and more frequently. 

Senator Meriam Ahmad (SFS ’26) said the executive is already in talks to address the issue, urging Senators to pass the bill to strengthen their advocacy.

“One great thing about this legislation is we have a cosponsor from the exec. We spoke with him about legislation and this is something they are moving forward with as well. We did some research to help exec with the advocacy so let’s get this passed to start moving forward,” Ahmad said.

A further resolution urging the university to recognize mental health days in official attendance policies sparked debate over its implementation, with the senators ultimately tabling it for further workshopping. The resolution would have allowed students to request mental health days, establishing a system similar to the housing accommodation process.

First-year senator Keatyn Wede (CAS ’27), who sponsored the resolution, responded to questions raised about accessibility and delays in approving mental health day requests.

“I guess you would need some sort of doctor’s note so that people don’t take advantage of the system, but I understand that the doctor’s note is not accessible to everyone so that’s something I’m hoping the administrators will have ideas about,” Wede said.

Senator Jeffrey Mueller (CAS ’24) suggested the resolution consider simply expanding existing attendance policies that give students three excused absences per class.

“Maybe it would be easier to just request a couple more within that same framework,” Mueller said. “You’re just saying maybe students need more than what you’re providing because clearly they do.”

Davis added that regardless of the mechanism, the university needs to do more for student mental health, supporting the suggestion to add mental health days for all students.

“People take mental health days here without this outline,” Davis said at the meeting. “I think the university as a whole needs to step up in terms of its support for the student body, and that includes this blanket excuse, no-questions-asked days.”

The Senate also confirmed Senators Renée Clark (CAS ’24) and Samuel Lovell (CAS ’25) to fill two of four current vacancies. Former Senator Jibril Syed (MSB ’24) resigned from a class of 2024 seat, former Senator Emily Bertanzetti (CAS ’25) resigned from an at-large seat and former Senators Saatvik Sunkavalli (SFS ’25) and Nina Tanaka (MSB ’25) resigned from their class of 2025 seats.

This article was updated Mar. 20 to correct the number of vacancies in the GUSA Senate.

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