New Exec Appoints Staff
Published: Monday, March 19, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, March 20, 2012 03:03
Georgetown University Student Association President Clara Gustafson (SFS ’13) and Vice President Vail Kohnert-Yount (SFS ’13) were inaugurated Saturday, ushering in a new staff and a new set of initiatives.
The pair chose to maintain a similar cabinet structure to that of their predecessors but altered some staff positions to better reflect the unique goals of their campaign platform. The roles of director of strategic development and director of career services were replaced with directors of social justice, academic affairs and special initiatives. The GUSA senate approved the staff and cabinet structure unanimously Sunday.
According to Gustafson, these new positions align with specific projects she and Kohnert-Yount included in their platform, such as the creation of an academic research symposium and the implementation of a permanent director for the Center for Social Justice.
Gustafson and Kohnert-Yount also appointed directors to continue many of former President Mike Meaney (SFS ’12) and Vice President Greg Laverriere’s (COL ’12) initiatives.
GUSA senator Colton Malkerson (COL ’13), chair of the Finance and Appropriations Committee, will resign from his senate seat to serve as director of student activities fee and endowment implementation.
Jake Sticka (COL ’13) was appointed chief of staff, and Senator Yupang Chang (MSB ’15) will serve as director of special initiatives. The finalization of the executive cabinet and staff leaves five senate seat vacancies. Other cabinet positions will be announced this week.
Jack Appelbaum (COL ’14), chair of the Student Activities Commission, will serve as director of Student Life Report implementation.
According to Appelbaum, fulfilling every recommendation by the end of his term is not a realistic goal. Instead, he believes that smaller recommendations can be implemented quickly and that publication of the report is as important as its execution.
“It’s about implementing the recommendations but also creating a larger conversation on campus about the importance of student engagement,” he said.
Appelbaum plans to first prioritize the recommendations listed in the report and then delegate them to members of the executive cabinet. He emphasized centralizing the space reservation system and increasing student access to the administration as important goals.
Hiring a permanent CSJ director, a process which has stalled over the last two years, was a central focus of Gustafson and Kohnert-Yount’s campaign. One complication that GUSA faces in its pursuit of that goal, however, is that the CSJ director reports to the provost, and the search to replace current Provost James O’Donnell, who is leaving at the end of the semester, is ongoing.
At the inauguration ceremony, Gustafson expressed her excitement about her term.
“Vail and I have an incredible opportunity to really make a meaningful change here at Georgetown and hope that we will serve all of you well in the next year,” she said.