1. It is often said that the administration has failed to recognize GUSA as a legitimate force on campus and has, for the most part, ignored the organization and its initiatives. What makes you different from every other person who has tried and failed to overcome this barrier?

We don’t give up. When the administration tries its hardest to convince us that we’re fighting for the impossible, we keep going, because as we’ve found in the past, there’s likely a way to make it work. The best example of this determination is our ongoing “friendly battle” with the housing office for cable in Village B. We were lucky last year to get an apartment there, but were as frustrated as everyone else that we were going to be denied our HBO and ESPN. So, we began what we thought would be a constructive conversation, but what turned out to be more of an all out wa . well, not so constructive conversation.

We talked about cable in Village B, found out all the secrets (it’s been there for 20 years, they just don’t want to turn it on, because they can’t regulate it), and tried to use our persuasion and logic to convince them. They didn’t turn it on. But we didn’t give up. We got a DirecTV dish for our apartment and started doing some research. We found the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Section 207: a great section. It’s an FCC law that forbids legal organizations and landlords from denying its residents free information, which it turns out cable is. So, we wrote memos and legal briefs, we called this person, faxed that person, and Village B now has cable. We don’t give up.

2. This year, GUSA has been criticized for its separation from the students it intends to serve – a separation that was exemplified by the association’s attempts to reform itself as well as the apathy of the student body towards the result of this debate, the Student Leadership Reform Group. How do you plan to close this gap and increase student interest in GUSA’s affairs?

We have an amazing team, drawn from our campaign and from all walks of campus life. They will be the foundation of a network that will link our administration to the student body as a whole, providing the vision, energy and enthusiasm to create an environment where action can get done. We plan to go door-to-door again next year in October, introducing ourselves to the new freshman class, encouraging them to get involved and communicating our purpose and plans for the next year. We will make GUSA the kind of organization that students will want to get involved in, and our team will create the kind of environment where everyone feels welcome to contribute.

3. What do you think will be the most important issue GUSA will face next year, and how do you plan to address it?

The most important issue facing GUSA in the coming year will be student services funding. Our plan for tackling this issue has two stages. In the short run, the most practical way to increase student activities funding would be the implementation of a student activities fee, which would be a separate bill item, like the current Yates fee. This will result in increased cost to students, but would provide much-needed funds that would land Barenaked Ladies or Dave Matthews, help build a student center and drastically improve the budgets of student clubs.

Meanwhile, as the fee improves campus life, we will be working hard to establish a student activities endowment that will eventually replace the fee as a source of funds. This stable revenue source will allow us to take funding decisions out of the hands of university administrators and return them to student control. It would be ours to use and distribute where we, the students, felt appropriate. Our team is more than willing to lead the charge, but these possibilities will demand the concerted effort of all students as well as administrators in order to become reality. Nevertheless, we feel confident that we will be successful.

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