The Georgetown University Students Association released its Student Rights Pamphlet Thursday, drawing to a close an initiative that has been in the works for over a year.
The guide is intended to be a digestible resource for navigating the policies of the Department of Public Safety, the Code of Student Conduct, the Student Neighborhood Assistance Program, Georgetown Emergency Response Medical Services and the Metropolitan Police Department.
Work on the initiative began in the GUSA senate last February. While the process took off this academic year, it was slightly delayed as Director of Student Conduct Judy Johnson, Director of Student Affairs Anne Koester and other university representatives reviewed the language.
“We wanted to make sure that we weren’t putting in anything that was misleading,” GUSA Vice President Greg Laverriere (COL ’12) said. “We were … just waiting on having that information.”
Efforts to create the document were spearheaded by GUSA Chief of Staff Michael Barclay (COL ’12) and Laverriere, as well as Student Advocacy Office Directors Ace Factor (COL ’12) and James Pickens (COL ’12).
Factor and Pickens used the knowledge gleaned from their experience with the SAO to ensure the pamphlet addressed the most pressing student rights issues, like how to appeal Student Code of Conduct violations.
The document will be printed and distributed in the SAO and Students of Georgetown, Inc., locations after spring break.
“It’ll be one of the final things [GUSA President Mike Meaney (SFS ’12)] and I do as executive,” Laverriere said.
Meaney and Pickens, however, will continue to serve on the Disciplinary Review Committee as GUSA representatives until July 1.
In addition, all of the student responsibilities set forth in the proposed changes to the Student Code of Conduct and Bill of Students Rights and Responsibilities released in November have been finalized, according to Laverriere.
However, the university has yet to agree to codify the changes to student rights in the code. By the end of their term on the review committee, Meaney and Pickens hope to further outline the burden of proof and failure to comply standards for code violations.
Overall, GUSA hopes to make the Student Code of Conduct easier to navigate and use as a resource, although it is not focusing on one specific issue within the code, according to Laverriere.
“I don’t think [that] with the Code of Conduct there is only one silver bullet,” he said.