There are few circumstances that can truly be considered a win-win — and, let’s face it, even fewer when the parties involved include students and the administration. More often than not, the best that can be hoped for is compromise. However, in the Georgetown University Student Association’s What’s a Hoya? initiative, we’re happy to see an exception to that rule.
Launched this week by GUSA in conjunction with the Office of Residential Services, the new program consists of a series of forums on campus issues such as diversity, club life and sexual assault that are linked to housing selection. Freshmen will earn a tenth of a point for each session they attend, with a cap of three-tenths. Incentivizing attendance with housing selection points is a creative effort to collaborate with administrators. The forums are a commendable method to not only highlight available resources but also build a greater sense of community through discussions of pervasive campus-wide issues.
The housing program will alleviate a substantial information gap among current freshmen. Though New Student Orientation does a decent job communicating the nuts and bolts of Georgetown’s policies and resources, freshmen are still often overwhelmed by the sheer amount of dos and don’ts, what-if’s and how-to’s. This leads to many freshmen not knowing where to turn or whom to consult when they do end up in a less-than-desirable situation, whether it be a minor write-up or something more serious. The forums will serve as a much-needed booster shot to NSO and an opportunity to broaden and deepen campus dialogue on key issues like sexual assault and diversity.
The initiative also shows GUSA President Nate Tisa (SFS ’14) and Vice President Adam Ramadan (SFS ’14) delivering on a campaign promise of increased student engagement with sexual assault awareness. Though only time will indicate the extent to which the What’s a Hoya? program will be embraced on the Hilltop, it has the framework for success.