As the new term begins for GUSA, we share some reflections on our experiences as president and vice president of the Student Association this year. We campaigned with the overarching goals of enabling the Student Association to be a more efficient organization that would connect with the student body by including many diverse voices. We hoped that GUSA would grow to be seen as an organization that was not only well run but also as a group that students would turn to for support concerning all aspects of student life.

As we began work last year, we found that we had lots to do before we could begin to truly realize these goals. With a modest-sized group of strongly committed people, we began the daunting task of organizing our cabinet and appointing students to university boards and committees. We consolidated many of our advocacy committees, appointing members that were already involved within their specific areas of interest. We reduced unnecessary spending by cutting the costs of cabinet retreats and created a funding procedure that, for the first time, made GUSA financially transparent.

This summer, after cleaning the office and getting the phones and computers in order, we met with administrators and worked with the leaders of New Student Orientation, other orientation programs, the Community Scholars Program and GU Pride to welcome all Georgetown students to campus and invite them to be a part of GUSA.

With the assistance of our communications team we initiated the PawPrint and established a GUSA broadcast email list. We improved the coordination and maintenance of my.georgetown.edu. Our marketing team began the “Did you know?” campaign, aimed at publicizing useful university information. We have promoted the District’s transportation options.

In the weeks ahead, we look forward to the transition of the Student Affairs broadcast e-mail to The Weekly Whip, a more effective and better-structured way for student groups to announce their events that will work in synergy with my.georgetown.edu.

Throughout the short months we were in office, we organized a coalition consisting of the Georgetown Program Board, College Democrats, Republicans, Georgetown’s chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Interhall, Georgetown University Grilling Society and Georgetown Israel Alliance to hold a Rock the Vote Concert at the beginning of the year and register over 300 students to vote.

We also worked with the housing office to facilitate informational meetings for students, and drafted a housing proposal with suggestions to address issues such as fines, the point system and off-campus safety issues.

We began the Orange Band initiative with the Diversity Action Council, worked with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee to organize the Let the Freedom Ring festivities, coordinated with the Center for Student Programs and Georgetown Office of Leadership Development to promote the student leadership series.

GUSA became more visibly involved with the Faculty Senate, Advisory Neighborhood Council, the Office of Federal Relations, the Registrar’s Office and the Office of Alumni and Financial Affairs.

In our meetings with University President John J. DeGioia, we followed up on the changes to the sexual assault policy, gave feedback on the alcohol policy, pressed for an increased student role in the Board of Directors and made campus safety a central issue. We took part in discussions to bring more patrol officers into our Georgetown neighborhoods and recently participated in a safety awareness rally to demand a stop sign across from Poulton Hall.

We also worked with the assembly to organize town hall meetings, supported Take Back the Night and actively participated in GU Pride’s I AM campaign.

We are proud of the work that students have done recently on behalf of our university’s workers and excited about the new commitment made by The Corp to support them. We’re looking forward to some of the work that the next administration has undertaken towards social justice issues.

We will leave GUSA with a streamlined budget structure, an improved communications system and a dedicated group of leaders that will continue to serve the student body in conjunction with the newly elected administration.

These leaders will work to complete our online syllabi project, convene the first Joint Fellowship session, push for ROTC credit and online course evaluations and continue the Adopt-a-Block program.

GUSA has evolved in its mission, scope and organization, and we look forward to where next year’s leaders will take it. We thank the student body for allowing us the great opportunity to serve as president and vice president this year.

Kelley Hampton is a senior in the School of Foreign Service and the outgoing president of the Georgetown University Student Association. Luis Torres is a senior in the College and outgoing GUSA vice president.

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