With their proposal of a Summer Fellows Initiative, which would provide subsidized summer housing for students with unpaid internships, newly elected GUSA President Pat Dowd and Vice President James Kelly have shown a refreshing ability to empower students and improve Georgetown. By realizing one of the cornerstones of their campaign, they are fulfilling the Jesuit motto of educating “men and women for others,” serving as an alternative source for the financial aid that endowment-limited Georgetown cannot provide.

Although a little late in the summer housing process, Dowd and Kelly have proved their ability to go beyond expectations, securing a number of housing slots that many thought was unrealistic. But, despite $800,000 accumulated in unspent club funds and an ability to pay for any worthy student program, those in charge of funding decided to provide only a quarter of what Dowd asked for, $10,820.25 – enough for five interns, instead of the desired 20.

As the program would support a relatively small number of students, all of whom would be on financial aid, some question whether the Summer Fellows Initiative is a proper use of a fee meant to support all Hoyas. But Georgetown’s students, through their election of Dowd and Kelly, have already shown their support for the program.

And Georgetown, as a Catholic, Jesuit university, believes that talented students should not be denied opportunities because of insufficient financial resources. There is no finer way for GUSA to provide such an opportunity than to subsidize this housing for student interns.

The funding committee has left Dowd and Kelly with the unenviable task of picking five interns from what will most definitely be a pool of well-qualified applicants. Before applications come in and students become frustrated by the crapshoot-like way they will or will not be selected, the funding committee must correct its mistake and fund the 20-slot pilot program. The Summer Fellows Initiative needs this financial support in order to truly succeed.

Brian Dillon (COL ’11)

April 16, 2008

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Comments are closed.