On heard the top three proposals for spending the $3.4 million left behind by SAFE Reform at Tuesday’s meeting, and according to the commission’s chairperson, each is a contender for a slice of the pie.
The proposals presented at the meeting include installing solar panels on university townhouses, funding a Social Innovation and Public Service fund and bringing back Healy Pub. The commission decided to further consider these three proposals, which will be up for public comment at a town hall meeting on Saturday along with all other proposals received at this point.
According to Andrew Curtis (MSB ’11), the Georgetown University Students Association Endowment Commission chairperson, each of the proposals has a serious chance of receiving part of $3.4 million that the commission is charged with allocating.
“The proposals we heard were very thoughtful, well-researched and had support from a large base of students and alumni,” he said. “It was great to see that these groups were thinking big about the endowment and how large chunks of the endowment could be allocated to benefit a wide range of students.”
Georgetown Energy, which advocates for the use of solar power, proposed the installation of solar panels on 43 of the university’s townhouses. The venture would cost $163,399, with a completion date set for fall of 2012.
According to co-founder of Georgetown Energy Anthony Conyers (COL ’12), the project would be implemented over summer 2012 to avoid disrupting students living in university housing during the academic year. Conyers said that each installation will take less than 48 hours, and residents can carry on normally inside the house during the process.
Clara Gustafson (SFS ’13) and Nick Troiano (COL ’11) presented the SIPS fund, which would be available to any student who wished to apply for money to support a community service oriented project or one deemed applicable by the administrative board.
“The SIPS fund would be geared towards fostering service and encouraging students to become socially minded leaders while here at Georgetown,” Gustafson said.
While commissioners pointed out that there are similar groups already on campus such as HoyaInnovation that could provide funding to service groups, supporters said that SIPS would partner with, rather than replacing or overlapping with, other campus groups.
Chris Pigott (COL ’12) advocated that the entire $3.4 million fund should go to the creation of the Healy Pub, a restaurant, bar, student lounge and performance venue modeled after the historic Healy Pub, which sat in the basement of Healy Hall until 1988.
Pigott said he had discussed the project with alumni and found that they felt that there was no place currently on campus that truly captured the spirit of Georgetown.
“There is no real center of student life,” he said.
According to the proposal, the pub is intended to bring students’ social life back to campus and thus help alleviate safety issues of late-night traipsing back to the Hilltop. Although the commission raised concerns about getting neighborhood approval for such a space, particularly because it would sell alcohol, Pigott pointed to a unanimous 2006 decision by Georgetown’s Advisory Neighborhood Commission that prohibited the banning of kegs on Georgetown’s campus.
According to Curtis, the commission expects to receive a few more proposals before the April 10 deadline. These proposals will be heard on April 12, after which the commission will begin to debate.
“The commission will meet pretty regularly to narrow down and deliberate proposals, since we haven’t really had much of a chance yet to discuss internally what we’ve heard,” he said.