In an effort to reach a compromise on student government at Georgetown, GUSA President Tawan Davis (COL ’01) has created a committee to coordinate efforts by GUSA and supporters of the Yard Student Association to compromise on their reform efforts. The committee’s aim, according to Davis, is to review and revise the current constitution.

The committee will be co-chaired by Rob Bauer (COL ’02) and Jamal Epps (COL ’01).

The committee, approved by the GUSA Legislative Assembly Tuesday, will be comprised of 14 members, including three proponents of the Yard Student Association, Rob Bauer (COL ’02), Matt Brennan (SFS ’03) and Jack Ternan (SFS ’04) and GUSA members Jamal Epps (COL ’01), Anthony arinello (COL ’04) and Catherine Cauthen (SFS ’03). Aditionally on the committee are one representative of Students Against the Yard, as well as representatives of the academic councils, several funding boards, InterHall and clubs at large.

“I decided on the form of a constitutional committee to expand the conversation from a `back and forth’ between GUSA and the Yard and open it up to a broader university discussion,” Davis said.

According to the proposal’s timeline, the committee will also hold two open forums to receive feedback from the campus community. The committee’s recommendation is scheduled to be completed by March 15, which is also the last day changes to the Yard constitution will be accepted. If the GUSA Constitutional Council and two-thirds of the assembly approve the committee’s constitution, students will vote on the new constitution in a referendum on March 29.

Sophomore class representative Oliver “Trey” Street (SFS ’03), the only GUSA member to vote against the constitutional committee, said that he did so on behalf of students. “I think that 1700 students have a right to have the petition they signed go to referendum in an efficient period,” said Street, who also said he has not decided if he supports the Yard. “Committees won’t do that.”

Davis said that Yard supporters could withdraw from the committee at any time during the process and continue to support their original petition, which students are still scheduled to vote upon on March 26.

“We are happy to bring more people’s suggestions and constructive criticisms into the discussion,” Brennan said. “We intend to work with the committee without losing sight of, or compromising, our principles of bringing all organizations on campus together, united under one leader, and greater student control over how their money is spent.”

Yard Steering Committee Chair Nate Willems (SFS ’01) shared Brennan’s optimism for a successful collaboration.

“Hopefully, this new group will be able to streamline that process and create the best Yard Constitution possible. I am sure that everybody wants this new committee to succeed. While we have always been willing to compromise, we really can’t abdicate the principles that make the Yard great,” he said.

According to proponents of the Yard, the Constitutional Committee will continue to contact and consult the rest of the Yard Steering Committee, who will approve the final document before posting it at their Web site.

Marinello said he anticipates a reasonable compromise from the committee.

“Since a compromise was our goal in pushing back the referendum, I think we’re going to get a lot accomplished,” he said. “People are really coming to the table ready to work.”

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