The Georgetown University Student Association Senate voted unanimously to approve President NateTisa (SFS ’14) and Vice President Adam Ramadan’s (SFS ’14) nominations for a new executive cabinet Sunday.
Tisa said his cabinet structure will mirror the subcommittee structure he introduced to the senate during his term as senate speaker this past year when Clara Gustafson (SFS ’13) was president and Vail Kohnert-Yount (SFS ’13) was vice-president.
“There will be more division and specialization, with the undersecretaries working on specific projects and initiatives,” he said.
Tisa also said the executive plans to release a 40-day plan after Easter Break that will outline the goals of each cabinet member for the remainder of this academic year.
“With Clara and Vail, they did a lot in the fall. They had the referendum, but imagine if we had done that in the spring. It just completely increases what we’re able to do,” Tisa said. “We’re trying to get the cabinet active and make sure each position has a tangible goal for the next month.”
Tisa and Ramadan kept all the positions from their predecessors’ cabinet and created two new positions: secretary of D.C. relations and secretary of the arts.
“The position for D.C. relations was created to improve students’ ability to advocate for ourselves out in the city,” Tisa said.
“[The position of secretary of the arts] was created to address the pressing needs of the arts community regarding to space as well as improving its profile on campus,” Tisa said.
George Smith (COL ’14) will be secretary of D.C. relations and Chase Meacham (COL ’14) secretary of the arts.
Meacham said he expects his biggest challenge will be the loss of student space for the arts during construction of the Healey Family Student Center.
“For an artist or an art group to excel on campus, it needs … space, resources, personnel, publicity and a positive atmosphere,” Meacham said. “My top two priorities would be finding space for artistic groups and ways for individual artists to prosper on campus.”
Ben Manzione (SFS ’15) and Michelle Mohr (COL ’15) will serve as co-directors of the Student Advocacy Office during Tisa and Ramadan’s term.
“One thing we’re really looking to push for this year is education of students’ rights. One of the biggest things with our administration on campus is that a lot of students don’t know they have the right to say no to or the right to say yes to and how they would appeal on cases and things along those lines,” Mohr said.
Manizone said he would prioritize working with Gustafson and former SAO Co-Director Sam Schneider (COL ’13), the latter a former opinion editor and member of The Hoya’s board of directors, to raise the burden of proof for Code of Student Conduct violations from “more likely than not” to “clear and convincing” for off-campus incidents.
According to Secretary of Academic Affairs Guy Mentel (COL’14), a former staff writer for The Hoya, codifying grading policies, making grades accessible on Blackboard and institutionalizing professors’ office hours schedules will be the focus of his time in office.
“There is a huge divide between the student body and the faculty. I think we’re wasting really big resources by not having a cooperative relationship between those two bodies,” he said.
Secretary of Neighborhood Relations Pieter Fossel (SFS ’14) predicted that the 2010 Campus Plan will remain a significant priority for his position.
“A lot has happened between with the neighborhood relations in the last two years, and I’d like to build off that momentum to work with neighborhood and the administration to make sure we’re advocating for student rights,” Fossel said. ”I also would like to play up the ways in which Georgetown and the students benefit the neighborhood and get them more aware of the performances in arts and different things students do on campus.”
Secretary of Mission and Ministry Arienne Calingo (COL’14), when asked by GUSA Finance and Appropriations Committee Chair Sheila Walsh (SFS ’14) about how she plans to address Campus Ministry’s ongoing attempt to form an advisory board, did not produce a direct and substantive reply.
“I know that Campus Ministry now has one interfaith retreat, but I feel like they should host at least one or two each semester. That’s one of my goals,” Calingo said in response.
Secretary of Athletic Affairs Rachael Augostini (COL’14), a staff writer for The Hoya and a board member of Hoya Blue, said her frequent interactions with the athletics department will serve as a strong asset for communicating with student-athletes. Augostini identified instituting an athletic training program for club sports — an initiative Gustafson and Kohnert-Yount highlighted in their campaign but did not complete — as her main priority.
“I think if they want trainers, they should be able to have them. They’re athletes on campus so they should get a lot of resources they need,” she said.
The senate also approved appointment of Minjung Kang (SFS ’15) as secretary of diversity affairs, Brittney Blakely (COL ’14) as secretary of social justice, Gabe Pincus (SFS ’14) in a second term as secretary of sustainability, Nora West (SFS ’15) as secretary of student safety and health and David Weis (COL ’14) in his second term as secretary of alumni and career services.