When Mike Meaney (SFS ’12) and Greg Laverriere (COL ’12) ran for the GUSA Executive last February, their platform was a mixed bag of large-scale projects and small improvements to everyday student life. But have they been digging deep enough?
The pair has shown it can execute. At the beginning of the academic year, we were pleased to see one Meaney-Laverriere brainchild — Project Move-In — help incoming students acclimate to campus. The duo reinstated the Collegiate Readership Program permanently and improved neighborhood relations by attending many Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2E meetings. Transparency in the executive branch has improved, as its two heads have made an effort to advertise all of the cabinet positions to the entire student body and held office (“coffee”) hours. The executives also played a role in making the M Street shuttle a reality and have worked closely with the university as advocates for the 2010 Campus Plan.
Building upon their predecessors’ budding professional development programs, the pair subsidized the LSAT prep and designed a one-time seminar for students to learn more about Wall Street finance, set to take place after Thanksgiving. They even learned from their competition, implementing an initiative proposed by their one-time opponents, Ace Factor (COL ’12) and James Pickens (COL ’12), for a Student Advocacy Office that is set to launch in the near future.
But our executive branch’s leaders still have two major projects to tackle in the remaining half of their term. In an interview with The Hoya featured in today’s issue (“Mid-Term, GUSA Executives Take Stock,” A1), Laverriere and Meaney promised that a review of the Access to Benefits policy and Student Code of Conduct is on its way. The pair also plans to prepare a comprehensive report comparing student life at Georgetown with that of peer institutions. Additionally, their campaign website lays out tangible goals that would greatly improve campus life, even if they would take time to crank out. Among the proposals are a possible hot Grab ‘n’ Go option and a Hoya Housing Finder, a resource to help students coordinate housing switches around study abroad programs.
But any fans of the Meaney-Laverriere administration must take into account their predecessors’ progress at this same mark. Halfway through their first term, former GUSA President Calen Angert (MSB ’11) and Vice President Jason Kluger (MSB ’11) had already implemented most of the initiatives for which they are now remembered. Career Education Center reform, the certification of students as SafeRides drivers, the creation of the GUSA Fund and the founding of the Rosslyn Georgetown University Transportation Shuttle bus route all took place in those first few months.
What is concerning about the previous team’s time is that during their second term as GUSA executives, Angert and Kluger let their work come to a standstill. The initiatives that had not been touched by the midpoint of their first term — namely the protection of students from 61D noise violations issued by MPD and the fostering of closer ties between professors and students — were never addressed.
With Meaney and Laverriere, the scene is different. They have four months left to keep active and achieve some crucial campaign objectives — and they have the legitimacy that comes with the tangible improvements they have already made. By keeping an end-of-term slump at bay, this team may just be one to remember.