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 Resolutions With Goal of Improving Effectiveness

The Georgetown University Student Association (GUSA) Senate passed four resolutions and swore in two new election commissioners, who oversee Senate and executive elections, at its Jan. 21 meeting.

At its first meeting of the spring semester, the Senate passed three resolutions aiming to revise GUSA policies and make the Senate work more efficiently along with another calling for the removal of trash around St. Mary’s Hall. The Senate also confirmed election commissioners Saahil Rao (SFS ’27) and Amelia Giordano (SFS ’26), who were nominated by President Jaden Cobb (CAS ’25).

After the executive election in October during which the Senate refused to certify the election results after alleged improprieties, previous election commissioners Ainsley Dean (SFS ’24) and Pratik Jacob (CAS ’25) came under fire from senators and the student body. In response, Rao said, and Giordano affirmed, that they would withstand the criticism.

“This fall, the Election Commission and past elections have come under fire. We’ll just say that we won’t back down from criticism,” Rao said at the meeting. “The job’s the job, and the rules are the rules. We have a duty to execute and stick to those and that’s the defense we’re gonna have. That’s really the only defense you can have.”

Besides confirming Rao and Giordano, the Senate passed Senator Max Massick’s (CAS ’24) resolution to remove trash and rotting fruit around St. Mary’s Hall after Massick said he personally experienced the issue over the summer.

Massick said the problem will continue if action is not taken, affecting students.

“This would be a problem again next summer, when everything smells like it’s on fire and rotting. And it’s terrible, there’s a tree there that produced a bunch of fruit, dropped the fruit right there all over the path and it was left there to rot in the hot summer sun,” Massick said at the meeting. “I mean, perhaps not the most serious bill I have written, but it is a real problem and I would like to at least start the conversation.”

Aamir Jamil/The Hoya | The Georgetown University Student Association (GUSA) Senate passed four resolutions and swore in two new election commissioners at its Jan. 21 meeting, beginning its plans for a more effective semester.

The Senate also passed three administrative resolutions to make GUSA committee meetings mandatory for senators, move the election of vice chairs of committees and establish more rules for funding of club events. 

A vast majority of the Senate approved the resolution to make GUSA committee meetings mandatory, with only GUSA Senator Mason Leath (CAS ’24) voting against it.

Full disclosure: Mason Leath served as Senior Guide Editor during the Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 semesters.

Other senators agreed that mandatory meetings were necessary to efficiently work, highlighting the importance of the Finance and Appropriations Committee (FinApp), which allocates over $1 million each year to student organizations, and the Policy and Advocacy (PAC) Committee, which drafts the resolutions.

Senator Sahil Sud (SFS ’27), who serves as vice chair of the PAC Committee, said the resolution was important to encourage senators to better represent the student body and contribute more of their ideas.

“I personally think it’s a good resolution, simply because it incentivizes people to stay committed and also makes people feel like they’re always doing something as part of GUSA,” Sud said at the meeting. “When I can see problems at the school, I immediately think of crafting a policy to change that, which I can share at PAC meetings.” 

The Senate also passed an act to establish a budget guide for FinApp which would require student Advisory Financial Boards, which work with and advise the Vice President of Student Affairs concerning student organizations and their funding to share expense reports, enact certain guidelines and attend budget training. The act would allow the committee to impose financial penalties for clubs’ mismanagement of funds and regularly advise budget-related discussions by the advisory boards.

Finally, the Senate voted to move the election of committee vice chairs by a week, listening to feedback from first-year senators.

Senator Nico Santiago (CAS ’27), the author of the resolution, said it would give first-year senators more time to adjust and to get involved with committees.

“I believe that with freshman senators and new senators being eligible for these vice chair positions, it would be beneficial to move those elections to at least the second meeting of the year,” Santiago said at the meeting. “Just so that our new senators are not overwhelmed or discouraged from running for these positions and to give ample time and opportunities for them to meet other senators.”

Senator Meriam Ahmad (SFS ’26) added that moving the election of vice chairs would give GUSA more time to pass policy.

“I think the bulk of our time should be spent on policy,” Ahmad said at the meeting. “I do think that spacing out the elections gives us time each meeting to do some bills. And then another meeting, some election, some bills, so that way we’re making progress each meeting.”

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