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

GUGS Has A Beef With University

You may have noticed there isn’t that familiar wave of smoke in Red Square today between White-Gravenor and Copley Hall. It’s a Friday afternoon, yet there’s no sign of the Georgetown University Grilling Society.

What gives?

Last week, GUGS was ordered to turn off its music because the sounds of Led Zeppelin and The Who were too disturbing for faculty and staff in White-Gravenor offices. If I had to sit in an office so close to the “GUGS Spot,” I’d be upset, too. But my beef would come from having to smell Worcestershire Sauce hitting the hot coals without having a GUGS burger in hand.

I understand the university’s concerns that music being played too loudly can disrupt classes or office hours, but this is Friday afternoon in Red Square – it’s GUGS time.

There were three separate instances when there was no line for GUGS last Friday, the first instances that I’ve ever seen this happen. Most people are used to waiting the better part of 45 minutes to bite into that juicy hunk of heaven that is a GUGS burger – clearly, an essential component of the GUGS atmosphere was robbed from the campus community when the GUGS box was turned off last week.

But that’s not all – the Center for Student Programs informed GUGS leadership on Wednesday morning that GUGS could not grill today because a member had yet to attend a CSP-mandated treasurer training session. Never mind that there is another training session next Tuesday. Never mind that GUGS has been grilling all around campus for the past three weeks at CSP-approved events. How could GUGS have done so much without treasurer training, then suddenly be shut down for not attending a session?

To be fair, if we wanted to hold our regular grill today, GUGS members could personally pay for supplies then request reimbursement – a two-week process – after attending Tuesday’s training session. But with the Friday grill and a planned catering event on Saturday, costs would exceed $1,000. The burden of purchasing supplies should not be placed on students when the university has funds that exist for that very purpose.

This academic year we’ve grilled 2,500 burgers and 1,200 hot dogs, and used over a half-ton of charcoal. For over three weeks, the university has depended on GUGS to attract students to late-night programming without consideration for treasurer training. It seems that the rules do not apply when the university’s interests are at the forefront.

Since GUGS’ inception in December 2002, Friday grills and GUGS burgers have become a Georgetown tradition that brings the campus together, if only for a few short hours. GUGS has grilled at Run for Rigby, Relay for Life, Best Buddies, Neighborhood Cleanups and the Final Four pre-game party. The Final Four celebration was the greatest collaboration of university resources I have ever seen – in less than five days, we managed to put together a huge party in anticipation of the Hoyas’ Final Four appearance. GUGS used 10 grills to feed over 1,200 people in two hours – unbelievable numbers considering how long it takes to grill a GUGS burger.

GUGS and other student groups were integral to the success of the university’s event because of hard work and selfless dedication. We love doing these events and rearrange our lives so that we can bring the campus together. We are tired, however, of the red tape that restrains student groups’ abilities to serve this campus.

This problem stems from the fact that the university refuses to invest any significant amount of trust in its student leaders. Administrators seemingly put more effort into enforcing regulations that hamper the potential of student groups rather than empowering and working with students to accomplish the most for Georgetown.

Give us all a chance, and we can make Georgetown even prouder.

Jake Styacich is a junior in the College and the president of the Georgetown University Grilling Society.

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