Eliminating Red Tape
Published: Friday, February 15, 2013
Updated: Friday, February 15, 2013 01:02
For many students, a semester abroad is a chance to experience new cultures and learn from others who are very different from themselves. We did both of those things in Hong Kong last semester, but we also spent our time reflecting on Georgetown and how we can make it better.
Until we saw a truly empowered student body — which we witnessed in Hong Kong, where university students made an impact on the politics of their campus and city — we had thought little about how Georgetown students can collectively raise their voices and force needed change.
Too often, the Georgetown University Student Association preoccupies itself with what it can do to stretch its limited resources, what projects can be snuck past the university’s red tape or what resume-building titles executives can dole out to supporters.
Leading GUSA is about more than having your name at the top of the association’s letterhead. It is about bringing students together to speak as one, creating a powerful message that administrators cannot ignore.
As the only ticket that has never been a part of the GUSA bureaucracy, we are ready to break the mold and embrace that vision. Finding new solutions to old problems is what we’re all about. Spencer is an award-winning entrepreneur, recognized by groups ranging from the National Federation of Independent Business to Startup Hoyas right here on the Hilltop.
Rob has been a part of numerous groups, including the Philodemic Society, College Democrats and the International Relations Club. Through a network of friends across campus, Rob knows the needs of both student groups and student life.
Since we returned from Asia, we’ve met with hundreds of campus leaders. And we strongly believe that the chance to listen to the people who make Georgetown tick has been more important than any title we could earn in GUSA.
Although our platform contains many specific, achievable ideas, three align especially well with our goals of bringing the campus together, devising innovative solutions and cutting red tape.
Bringing the campus together is more than rhetoric. One easy opportunity to unite the Hilltop is through our basketball team. That’s why we have budgeted for — and will work with the Athletics Department to manage — shuttles that run from the McDonough Gymnasium parking lot to Verizon Center. Not only will we better support our team, we will also build One Georgetown.
When it comes to innovative solutions, we can think of few better than enabling students to track work requests online, while simultaneously prodding University Facilities to work more quickly and more efficiently. With Spencer’s web design skills, we could build a website quickly and, while we plan to work with the administration and the new leadership of Facilities, we are willing to go it alone if that can make an immediate impact on student life.
Finally, we know that red tape holds Georgetown back. While we have a comprehensive plan for fixing the Office of Campus Activity Facilities and centralizing reservations, there is an even easier solution. Moving to presumed consent for event-booking would make it easier to schedule events, while a signed contract between groups and the university would assuage every relevant concern. It’s a no-brainer.
Of course, not every problem can be solved that easily. But if students are going to make a serious effort to make Georgetown all that it can be, we need to transform GUSA from a parochial insiders’ club into a group that speaks for One Georgetown.
As the outsiders in this election — but ones with detailed solutions to complex problems — we believe we are the right choice. We ask for your support and your vote on Feb. 21.
SPENCER WALSH is a junior in the McDonough School of Business. ROBERT SILVERSTEIN is a junior in the School of Foreign Service.