Over the past year, the University administration has expressed increased interest in improving communication with students. The elimination of the Senior Associate Dean of Students/Director of Special Projects position was a significant step in eliminating bureaucratic structures that inhibit student life on campus. This first step is only the beginning of the necessary changes that need to take place in order for our student activities on campus to meet their enormous potential.

What are examples of bureaucratic processes that students must overcome at Georgetown?

There are numerous layers of bureaucracy through which students must maneuver. The following illustrations create the greatest obstructions to efficient operation of student organizations. To reserve a venue on campus, from the smallest room in ICC to Gaston Hall, students must visit multiple administrative offices to check on availability and receive authorization for use of the requested space. Student groups must pay numerous fees, such as Department of Public Safety fees and room rentals, to host events. Aside from the monetary aspect of this issue, the current situation means more paper work and slower operations. Administrators who can make decisions are often unavailable when students commonly have free time. Consequently, at times, students must choose between attending class and taking advantage of the opportunity to meet with the university officials. This is especially true when groups of students are concerned. Lines of authority in the administration are unclear to students. We are frequently directed to as many as three different officials before finally connecting with the proper person to handle an issue. Due to a low level of accountability, students must repeatedly contact and meet with administrators before any action is taken. Unless students are incredibly persistent, issues fall through the cracks.

Why is eliminating bureaucracy essential to improving student life and how can bureaucracy be made more efficient?

Simplification of Georgetown’s bureaucracy must be prioritized if the administration truly wishes to communicate a genuine interest in changing the nature of student-administration interaction. It is impossible to avoid becoming offended when requests, which students not only consider to be important but also quite reasonable, are blatantly disregarded and pushed to the margin of official attention. Too often, the resultant disenchantment frustrates students to such an extent that they choose to not stay involved, greatly reducing the level of participation in campus activities.

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