The most pressing issue affecting Georgetown students is affordability. Becoming a more affordable campus involves much more than just the dollar amount of tuition; it involves every single line item on the university expense sheet and revenue sheet, and how those ultimately affect the cost of attendance for every student.
Georgetown thrives because it develops well-educated, compassionate women and men for others, and it is a privilege for each of us to go here. However, far too often the cost of attendance is the most decisive issue for both current and prospective Hoyas. We are in a unique situation because we must balance our relatively low endowment and rising costs with expansion efforts and our valuable need-blind admissions policy.
Keeping in mind the nuances of the situation, we have concrete plans to make Georgetown more affordable in the short term and in the long term. If elected, one of the most impactful ways we will fight for students will be to push Georgetown’s administration to adopt more cost-saving measures into the university’s budgeting decisions, vigilantly protecting student jobs if the administration threatens to decrease them, and facilitating Georgetown-specific discounts with neighboring companies such as Safeway, Trader Joe’s and dry cleaners to lessen some of the hidden costs of Georgetown.
However, if Georgetown is to truly become more affordable in the long term, it will require a huge increase in our endowment and a long-term reduction in reducible costs such as utilities. This is where entrepreneurship and sustainability come in.
Entrepreneurship is vital to Georgetown’s culture — Sweetgreen, anyone? — and by helping current students start their own business, we are helping create successful alumni who can and will give back to the university, not to mention hire Georgetown students.
Sustainability is a socially conscious goal, but many students do not realize that it should also be an economic one. If Georgetown instituted policies such as retrofitting townhouses and training teachers and residential assistants to be more vigilant about lights in empty rooms, we could save hundreds of thousands of dollars in energy use every year. Many students are already environmentally aware, but we will make it so that sustainability is a priority in every Georgetown University Student Association policy going forward.
All of our policies are aligned with the objective of making this school more affordable, and our full plans can be found on the website kamarandjessica.com. We know how lucky we are to attend this amazing institution, and every student should get the full experience and feel consistently supported. We propose real, concrete change to how the school uses its resources, as well as which voices are being considered when making decisions regarding affordability.
Kamar Mack is a sophomore in the College running for the Georgetown University Student Association presidency. Jessica Andino, a junior in the College, is his running mate.
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