Each year, The Corp recognizes Shareholders’ Day by distributing free T-shirts and coffee to students passing through Red Square. While that gesture is certainly appreciated, the holiday could be more meaningfully celebrated if The Corp also held town hall meetings to gather student feedback.
As Georgetown’s only student-run corporation, Students of Georgetown, Inc. occupies a unique niche in the student service market. Its presence in heavily trafficked locations like Lauinger Library and Leavey Center and prolonged hours of operation that accommodate students’ schedules translate to widespread student patronage with little or no competition. This status also opens the door to criticism, which ranges from debating the quality of coffee to the makeup and characteristics of Corp employees. Criticism in this form is neither productive nor particularly appropriate, and it only serves to vilify The Corp without creating channels for change.
The Corp currently maintains a feedback page on its website where customers can submit anonymous complaints. But holding a town hall meeting where students could speak directly with The Corp’s executives and weigh in on potential changes would provide a unique benefit for students and the company.
For The Corp, it would be a source of valuable insight and a chance to defend itself against allegations floated on places like Facebook. For students frustrated by a lack of responsiveness to their online complaints, it would create a face-to-face opportunity to be heard by those at the top.
Most major corporations are only minimally impacted by the opinions of their shareholders in day-to-day operations, but The Corp has a unique relationship with its shareholders on the Hilltop. Periodic meetings would help bridge this gap and allow students to express their concerns in a constructive manner in line with their mantra of “students serving students.”