The Georgetown University Student Association (GUSA) relaunched its website Jan. 1, aiming to improve communication between GUSA and the Georgetown University student body.
The website has not been functional after the previous GUSA administration chose to shift its informational resources to CampusGroups, a campus engagement platform. The website aims to allow students to engage more effectively with student government and access resources provided by GUSA and the university.
GUSA President Camber Vincent (SFS ’24) said a functional website will provide student government with an effective and necessary method for communication with students.
“The website offers our best chance at easy engagement with the student body, providing a one-stop site for everything they might need — improving the efficacy, reliability, and speed of communication both ways,” Vincent wrote to The Hoya.
First-year Senator Meriam Ahmad (CAS ’26) said a website that showcases GUSA’s accomplishments and ongoing projects will hopefully increase student awareness of the senate’s activities.
“I’m hoping that, by highlighting GUSA’s past, ongoing, and future work, Georgetown students can stay updated on what GUSA’s doing and how to get involved,” Ahmad wrote to The Hoya. “For that reason primarily, it is necessary for GUSA to have a working website.”
GUSA Vice President Alyssa Hirai (SFS ’24) said that though GUSA has repurchased the website’s domain space, GUSA has a long way to go with redesigning the website. GUSA needs to solve the website’s outdated interface, according to Hirai.
“A major issue with the GUSA website was that our account had been deactivated due to an error and the website became dysfunctional as a result,” Hirai said. “However, we repurchased the website and we will be continuing to redesign it into a platform students can more easily access and interact with.”
Vincent said he anticipates that the website will be clean of old information by the end of January and closer to fully functional by February.
“The primary issue with the website is that due to some University error the previous administration deactivated our account,” Vincent wrote. “As a result the website has become very outdated. A lot of resources and links do not work, and generally it has fallen into a state of disrepair.”
Potential resources for the website include a project called “Hoya House Hunters,” a website run by Georgetown graduates that helps students find off-campus housing and an engagement form to allow students to provide GUSA feedback, according to Vincent.
“We are working with some previous alums who ran a Hoya House Hunters project website to reintegrate it into our capabilities as a great resource for students looking for off-campus housing,” Vincent wrote. “We also hope to have an ongoing engagement form open with opportunities to sign up to get involved, to offer up ideas, complain about problems, or level criticisms.”
Georgetown student Kate Arkin (CAS ’26) said that a functional website may improve the perception of GUSA in the student body.
“Having a functional website is critical for GUSA because it will enable GUSA’s constituents to gain a better understanding of what GUSA does and to better reach their representatives,” Arkin wrote to The Hoya. “This in turn may help to heal GUSA’s reputation as a nonfunctional body.”
Vincent said the new website should facilitate an open dialogue between senators and students.
“Ultimately, we’d like it to be a combination of both information and communication,” Vincent wrote.
Vincent, GUSA Chief of Staff Aidan Ng (SFS ’25) and GUSA IT Director Tyler Clough (MSB ’24) currently run the website, and will work in partnership with GUSA’s full communications and leadership teams as the website’s administrators once the website is fully set up, according to Vincent.
Hirai said the new website will make staying informed of GUSA-related developments more accessible to the greater Georgetown student body.
“Creating a functional GUSA website is an important step to improve communication, increase transparency, and provide students with the resources they need,” Hirai wrote to The Hoya.
Ahmad said an operational GUSA website is necessary if GUSA is to properly represent student interests.
“Ultimately, GUSA’s only purpose is to advocate on behalf of Georgetown students, so the input and involvement of the student body in the work of GUSA are essential for successful advocacy,” Ahmad wrote.
Vincent said he hopes the website will facilitate GUSA’s ability to meet students’ needs and increase community involvement with the organization.
“A student government cannot function without having sustained, meaningful engagement with its student body,” Vincent said. “In the past, the website has served as one of the best pieces of infrastructure for meeting that capacity, so it is an important piece of the tasks to undertake in our new administration to meet our campaign promises of increasing communication and transparency.”