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

True Change Requires an Open GUSA

After gleefully spending an hour this weekend sitting on my couch watching television, a thought occurred to me: wouldn’t it be great if MTV could do a “pimp my ride” episode on GUSA?

Imagine, if you will, that Xzibit knocks on the front gates and his team of experts work day and night to make GUSA into an organization that is barely street legal, runs efficiently and with style, shoots fire out of the exhaust pipes, and has 20-inch rims. I can dig it.

But seriously, this election, with all the bad feelings and sour aftertaste it has elicited, has significantly undercut the legitimacy of an organization that was formed by students to represent the interests and needs of students. It seems that the time has come for all of us to challenge ourselves and reflect on ways that we can craft changes to GUSA.

For me, GUSA is not working if students do not see or believe that they have a voice that counts in the administration. GUSA enables the voice that we have as students here at Georgetown; as individual students our power is limited, but as a group – especially an organized one – we do have a voice. Administrators do listen.

Now is the time to come together and create an environment of inclusion and cooperation in which there are common goals that we all work toward that will not only increase our pull within the administration but also will enliven the Georgetown atmosphere.

From my perspective, a major problem with GUSA is that it generally involves a small group of people every year and does not actively seek to expand beyond this small group. There may be some individuals who try to bring in new and different voices, but institutionally GUSA is structured to encourage a closed appointment process, and thus creates an atmosphere of people who do not seem to represent the roughly 6,000 students on this campus and their diverse interests. Checks and balances need to be created within GUSA to enable a wider variety of ideas and opinions to be heard and counted. Luis and I recognize that change is difficult and many times uncomfortable, but we feel that this election was just ugly enough to serve as the impetus for some real, tangible changes to occur in GUSA.

Changes such as creating a director of student relations to advise students on how to write proposals to the administration and create a direct link between the students and administrators. Changes like simplifying the election campaign bylaws to include only one banner in Red Square and door-to-door campaigning. Changes that enable us to better serve each other’s needs – as students and as people – and the needs of the community as a whole here at Georgetown.

As of Tuesday night and the certification of the GUSA election results for President and Vice President, your vote counted, your voice was heard. We have already started the interviewing process for different positions on this year’s Student Association, and while Luis and I will be involved in all of the interviews, members of this year’s assembly will be helping us out, along with members of the other election tickets. It is integral to the survival and integrity of GUSA that as many voices and opinions as possible be heard and brought to bear on the way decisions are made, especially concerning the structure of the organization.

Luis and I have many goals for the upcoming year that we hope will enjoy your support, scrutiny and suggestions. We love Georgetown and hope that we can all work together in the upcoming year to ensure that our student association is one we can be proud of and one that is part of a wonderful Georgetown experience.

Kelley Hampton is junior in the School of Foreign Service. She is the president of the Georgetown University Student Association.

Donate to The Hoya

Your donation will support the student journalists of Georgetown University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Hoya