Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

GUSA Passes Senate Redistricting Bill

The Georgetown University Student Association senate voted unanimously to approve a bill that will redefine several senate districts Sunday.

The bill, proposed by the Senate District Reconciliation Committee, revised the way that the Southwest Quad and two freshmen residence hall districts are designed. It also created two additional off-campus seats, bringing the total to five, and reduced the number of at-large seats from six to four.

Village A Senator Clara Gustafson (SFS ’13) noted that the current underrepresentation of off-campus students is unconstitutional.

The three current off-campus senators represent more than 500 students each, which is almost twice the number constituents for every on-campus representative, according to Senate Vice Speaker NateTisa (SFS ’14).

“Our duty is to encourage off-campus participation,” Tisa said. “It is not our right to disenfranchise [students who live off-campus].”

The bill also combined Darnall and Harbin Halls into one district, which will be represented by three senators, and combined the three dorms in the Southwest Quadrangle into one district also represented by three senators. Previously, Darnall, Harbin, Reynolds, McCarthy and Kennedy Halls had been considered independent districts with one representative each.

Some senators expressed concern that the new blocked districts could make campaigning more difficult, but others thought that the larger districts will be a catalyst for deeper senator-constituent engagement.

“The more places you have to campaign for, the more you’ll want to serve more people,” LXR senator Matt Morris (SFS ’14) said. “The senators will have to combat the problem of bettering communication with their constituents.”

The senate also passed the Bill of Rights and Responsibilities resolution drafted by the Student Life Committee, which spells out student rights such as freedom from discrimination and freedom from unreasonable search. The document must be approved by the university’s Disciplinary Review Committee to take effect, according to GUSA members.

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