GUSA Urges Extension of GOCard Access
Published: Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 14:11
The Georgetown University Student Association senate unanimously passed a resolution to extend hours of GOCard access to campus buildings Sunday night.
The resolution stated that limiting access to academic buildings and dormitories after certain hours impedes the goal outlined in the 2010 Campus Plan of bringing undergraduate social life back to campus.
Currently, students can swipe into any dorm with their GOCards during the day. After 10 p.m., students who are not residents of that dorm must be signed in. This limitation also applies to academic buildings; only students of the McDonough School of Business have access to the Rafik B. Hariri Building after 10 p.m. and only science majors may swipe into Regents Hall after that time.
The resolution calls for campus-wide GOCard swipe-in access from 10 p.m. to midnight and urges 24-hour GOCard access throughout the Southwest Quad complex for residents of its three buildings. It also urges the university to eliminate restrictions to academic buildings for unspecialized students.
GUSA Senator Nolan DiConti (COL ’15), co-sponsor of the resolution, said that mandatory sign-in for Southwest Quad residents is inconvenient and redundant.
“The Southwest Quad is a unique structure because basically, it is connected with three dormitories, so what happens is if we’re studying [in one of the other SWQ dorms] and I decide I want to grab some food or check out a book at Lau — I have to be signed back in,” DiConti said.
Nate Tisa (SFS ’14), GUSA speaker and co-sponsor of the resolution, expressed concern that mandatory sign-in after 10 p.m. makes it difficult for students to socialize in accordance with university rules.
“Especially in a situation when you’re hosting a large event, [say] in an apartment, it’s very difficult for the host to leave to sign someone in and run back up to the party because the host is supposed to be in the residence for the duration of the party,” Tisa said.
Tisa added that the sign-in time has made socializing on campus inconvenient for students.
“Ten o’clock is not late by college standards. … We are trying to convince Residence Life that the difference between 10 p.m. and 12 a.m. does not affect safety. This is why students go off campus. They do not want the bother of having to sign in,” Tisa said.
GUSA Vice Speaker Zach Singer (SFS ’15) proposed an amendment to the resolution that would have advocated for extending GOCard access to 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.
However, several senators expressed concern that an extension to 2 a.m. would be too much to ask for, and the amendment did not pass.
“I think in terms of pragmatic reality, what can we accomplish? How best can we accomplish that? I think the more conservative number is going to be more effective to make the administration think we’re serious, we’re being thoughtful [and] we’re taking the administration’s perspective into account,” Tisa said.
GUSA Senator Vetone Ivezaj (COL ’13), who is a residential assistant, said it would be hard for RAs to enforce rules.
“From an RA’s perspective, it’s harder for us to enforce policy with students who don’t live in the dormitory,” Ivezaj said.
GUSA Senator Ben Weiss (COL ’15) said that students should have the right to visit dormitories of their fellow students, regardless of the hour of night.
“Our job is to voice for what is in the best interest for students at Georgetown. I think it is their best interest to give them the leniency to get into their friends’ dorms at 2 o’clock in the morning or, in my opinion, whenever they please. I think that 2 o’clock is reasonable to at least start the discussion,” Weiss said.
The resolution also authorized the GUSA Student Life Committee to poll campus residential communities for student input on these potential policy changes.