At this point, I have not chosen to support or oppose any of the proposals that seek to change the structure of student government at Georgetown. To be quite honest, I don’t have time to do either. This year, Jacques and I have been busy doing the kinds of things that we said we would do for our university. Regarding issues of structural changes, I am convinced that most Georgetown students, administrators, faculty and staff are not interested. As long as we, like so many of you, keep trying to make Georgetown a better community of striving scholars.

While remaining concerned about structures and relationships, it is most important that we continue to work on issues that concern Georgetown students. This year the Student Association has tried to work on programs that enhance life on the hill. From hosting the Rev. Bernice King to placing a permanent big screen in Sellinger Lounge to watch Hoya basketball games, to soon turning Hoya’s into a student-friendly sports bar, we have managed to avoid being stuck in narcissistic politics of perpetual self-reform by simply focusing on student concerns.

Over the past few months I have met between 30 and 40 club leaders. These hard-working, committed students share at least four complaints. First, they do not have enough money. Second, there is not enough space on campus for their use. Third, the university is bureaucracy-laden to a point that it inhibits the progress of meaningful student initiatives. Last, students feel that they have little voice in issues that affect their lives while here on the Hilltop.

Indeed, we have worked to address these and other student concerns throughout the year. Among them is the best solution to student funding problems I have seen in my Georgetown career. This proposal will bring hundreds of thousands and eventually millions of dollars into student activities, volunteer efforts, intramural sports and programming on campus. This is the kind of effort that must occupy our time and creativity. Student apathy is best thwarted by making Georgetown better, not by shuffling influence from one group of hands to others.

Do we not remember that we have a new university president coming? Indeed, these have been rather turbulent years for our school in nearly every way. We have suffered financially in a time when we received more donations than any other time in our history. We have been shocked by the surge of racism and anti-Semitism in a time when the school is at its most diverse. And, probably most damaging, we seem to suffer from a chronic identity crisis hidden in weak rhetoric and even weaker programs. The challenges that any president coming to the Hilltop faces may be classified, as I heard one faculty member say, as “Catholic mission territory.” Such a leader must be strong, spiritual and visionary; one must be able to articulate and be committed to such clear vision in the context of the history of our great alma mater.

We must not squander this opportunity to make meaningful, positive change. Vilifying each other, straining to protect our respective spheres of influence or covering sincere concerns with platitudes and cliches will not make difficult decisions easier. Undoubtedly, while working together to make Georgetown its very best, we will not always agree. At times, we will ardently and intelligently articulate distinctly opposing views on key issues. However, we must place these disagreements in the context of helping a university that has helped better us.

I do not object to students taking the opportunity to take a collective and in-depth look at where we are. If we see profound changes should be made, let us push to realize them. Whether by referendum or e-mail, students should feel free to have open-minded discussions of the issues at hand. However, as involved students, we must not become so consumed by our own egos that we are willing to further exclude other students from participating in activities and leadership by acting as if this is Independence Hall and not the Leavey Center.

So when someone asks Jacques and me what we think of this or that proposal, we usually respond the same way most Hoyas do: “I don’t know.”

Tawan Davis is a senior in the College and president of the Georgetown University Student Association.

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