Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Greater Transparency Necessary for OCAF

Friday, September 15, 2006 As a Blue & Gray undergraduate tour guide, I spend hours every week marketing Georgetown. Like the proud Hoya I am, I faithfully sing the University’s praises at every turn and gloss over its bad points. Thankfully, the latter are generally few and far between. As I and my fellow College Democrats returned to campus this fall, however, we have encountered a burden that is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore. It is no secret that all universities, Georgetown included, are bastions of inefficient bureaucracy. But of late, the Georgetown administration seems to have taken it to a new a level, to such a point where it severely worsens the experience of student groups on campus. Returning to the Hilltop this fall, the College Democrats were upbeat. We had a calendar full of on- and off- campus activities planned, and the increasingly buoyant prospects for taking back the House in November had us all optimistic. But within weeks the University seems to have beaten out the last dredges of cheerfulness from my body. As we attempted to plan one activity after another, we ran into miles of red tape at every intersection. Every time we tried to book space for an event, it seemed, the location was mysteriously already taken by an unnamed future event. The Office of Campus Facilities further contributed to our frustrations by refusing to divulge any information as to why spaces such as the ICC Auditorium and Gaston Hall were inexplicably booked all day, only to remain totally vacant on the aforementioned dates. As events director for the College Democrats, the responsibility of finding spaces for speakers, internship fairs and other events the group plans often falls to me. This is a task that has become nearly impossible. Copley Formal Lounge, for example, is quite literally booked every Friday afternoon and evening from winter break through the end of the school year. Unfortunately, OCAF’s lack of transparency makes it impossible to discover what, exactly, the situation is with spaces purportedly open for student use, including Copley Formal Lounge. Often spaces that are supposedly taken go unused. Who is booking these spaces? Surely it is not student groups; SAC has not yet come into full swing this year, making it unlikely that student organizations have the financial means to reserve these spaces. The College Democrats have attempted, on several occasions, to discover the roots of these baffling room reservations. Every time, we have been rebuffed by a bureaucracy that protects these reservations with a fervent secrecy better suited for a third-world junta than a top-25 university. We have had to cancel events for lack of available room space. The College Democrats of Georgetown call on the University to explain why the Office of Campus Facilities is so intent on preventing Georgetown’s students from using our own university’s facilities. Rachel S. Cohen is a sophomore in the College and is Events Director for Georgetown University’s College Democrats.

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