At last week’s GUSA senate meeting, the body unanimously passed three pieces of legislation focused on GOCard technology, university online resources and recycling.

The first bill called for the university to merge the current GOCard system with smart card technology, a step the GOCard Office had recently considered. The smart card, or radio-frequency identification technology, would read GOCards without direct contact, replacing the swipe component of theGOCard with a smart card chip.

“The most important aspects of RFID is its time-efficiency and cost-efficiency,” GUSA Senator and bill sponsor Joshua Shinbrot (COL ’16) said. “When students enter residence halls or Leo’s, swiping is time-consuming.”

Shinbrot explained that the adaption of RFID technology would also decrease costs for both students and the university.

“The expected life of current magnetic strip GOCards is two years. On average, every student’sGOCard will … need to be replaced at least once during their time at Georgetown,” he said.

After consulting with Director of the GOCard Office Roman Fahrmann, Shinbrot pointed out that the university has already begun to review necessary changes to its infrastructure to adapt to the RFID system, which would require the replacement of GOCard readers the addition of RFID smart card chips to GOCards.

Though the bill is non-binding, GUSA senators said they would continue conversations with university administrators to coordinate the timeline of the adaptation.

The second bill, introduced by GUSA Senator Nicolò Donà Dalle Rose (SFS ’15) called for simplification and centralization of links to online portals used by the university, including Google Apps, MyAccess, Hoyalink, Blackboard and Housing at a Glance.

Rose will first work with the Office of International Programs to create a centralized online resource and checklist to ease international students’ transition to Georgetown.

“This issue affects incoming international students, because they have a lot of things to do prior to arriving at Georgetown, but there are no clear instructions on how to do so,” Rose said. “In the long run, we want to encourage the university to consolidate the various online platforms used on campus. There is a need to standardize this complex system, while in the short run, we want the administration to include a clear list on the home page of all the portals we use in our daily lives.”

In the meantime, before the university makes any changes, the second part of the bill mandates thatGUSA’s website include a list of all major portals used at the university.

GUSA Subcommittee on Sustainability Chair Vetone Ivezaj (COL’13) also introduced an act to add three stackable recycling bins and trash cans to each apartment and townhouse in order to standardize the recycling process across campus.

The bill also authorizes the subcommittee to expand the current voluntary composting pilot program in Alumni Square to Henle Village, Village A and Nevils apartments. Each apartment that volunteers to compost will receive sealed composting bins with instructions and will be entered into a raffle for a $100 gift card.

The subcommittee will also add individual recycling bins to each dorm room on campus.

“The bins are also found in dorms at peer institutions across the country and would encourage students to separate their trash from recyclables in their room.  The bins can then be taken to the recycling centers on each floor to sort the recyclables,” Ivezaj said.

These steps will be funded by the GUSA executive, in partnership with Students of Georgetown, Inc., the Social Innovation Public Service Fund and University Facilities.

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