The Georgetown University Student Association senate passed a new campus redistricting proposal, which consolidates the amount of GUSA senate districts from 11 to seven and increases the total number of senators from 28 to 29, by a 24-0 vote Sunday.
The new districts, which take into account the opening of the Northeast Triangle Residence Hall, will represent geographical locations on campus instead of individual residence halls.
Henle Village and Northeast Triangle will be consolidated into the North Campus District, Alumni Square/Nevils, LXR and townhouses will be consolidated into the East Campus District, and Copley Hall, the Former Jesuit Residence and Village C East will be consolidated into Central Campus.
Vice Speaker of the senate Richie Mullaney (COL ’18) said the redistricting plan helps balance student-to-senator ratios and will hopefully foster increased student awareness and involvement.
“The plan keeps the student to senator ratio consistent across all districts,” Mullaney said. “We also strongly believe that by consolidating these districts, we make the districts simpler, which makes it easier to understand and makes GUSA more accessible to all of the students.”
Freshman North GUSA Senator William Morris (COL ‘19) said the need for redistricting arose from the addition of the new Northeast Triangle Residence Hall and the removal of the Georgetown University Hotel as a housing location.
“I think it is great. I think it accomplishes a lot of things. First of all, we need redistricting because there is going to be new dorm,” Morris said. “As of right now, we are actually phasing out the hotel and introducing the Northeast Triangle.”
In addition to accounting for the new dormitories, the redistricting plan also aims to increase student participation in GUSA senate races. According to Mullaney, no candidates formally ran for senate positions in some campus housing locations in past years, including the townhouses and LXR districts.
“By consolidating, residences halls into larger geographic districts, we hope to solve the problem where a district does not have a senate candidate,” Mullaney said.
Mullaney said the GUSA senate is normally charged with redistricting the senate districts every three years, but due to the changes in housing locations, a special redistricting session was held.
“Every three years, the senate is tasked with redistricting the GUSA districts for the senate elections. We have to do it more frequently more recently because of all the new residence halls that are going up,” Mullaney said.
The 24-0 vote surpassed the 5/6 majority required of the senate to approve of a redistricting proposal.
Former GUSA President Joe Luther (COL ’16) said the GUSA redistricting plan is a great way to increase student participation on campus.
“I think reducing the number of districts is a great idea. I think it will do a lot to make GUSA more accessible to the average student,” Luther said.
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