Concerns recently voiced by Mount Vernon campus residents have prompted the Student Association to propose legislation to address issues affecting students who live at the campus incorporated into the University this year.
“Once people start learning how big a problem it is, they can’t help but be sympathetic,” said undergraduate Sen. Jonathan Skrmetti (CSAS).
“We are GW students,” said Mount Vernon freshman Naomi Schneidmill. “We should be getting the same treatment.”
Skrmetti said an editorial in the Oct. 1 issue of The GW Hatchet written by Mount Vernon resident Stefanie Greenberg, and problems mentioned by Schneidmill at an SA Senate meeting, alerted him to the problem.
“I knew there were kinks in the process before,” Skrmetti said. “I just didn’t realize how many problems there actually were.”
Skrmetti and Schneidmill set up a forum Oct. 3 at the Mount Vernon campus to address these issues.
“It was a chance to voice our frustrations to people who would actually listen to us,” Schneidmill said.
As a result of the forum, Skrmetti drafted two pieces of legislation that he plans to introduce at the Oct. 13 SA Senate meeting.
The first piece of legislation targets pre-registration.
Mount Vernon students cannot preregister for classes on the Foggy Bottom campus. Schneidmill and Skrmetti said this poses a problem because these students must schedule classes around the shuttle schedules and other classes they are taking at Mount Vernon.
The second proposal suggests extending shuttle service between the Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon campuses to 24 hours a day.
“There was a girl sleeping in Gelman Library on Friday nights because she had an early lab on Saturday morning, and the shuttle didn’t run early enough,” Schneidmill said. “There are also girls who row crew and the shuttle doesn’t run at 5 a.m. Their coach has to come pick them up in the morning.”
Skrmetti said in addition to providing around-the-clock shuttles, the legislation also proposes that the pickup point be moved from the Academic Center to the Marvin Center.
“Some of the women were concerned because the Academic Center is poorly lit and there aren’t always a lot of people around,” Skrmetti said. “The Marvin Center would just be safer.”
Skrmetti said he is considering a third piece of legislation, which would create a new SA Senate committee composed of senators and Mount Vernon representatives.
“Personally I’m concerned,” Schneidmill said. “There should be MVC representation in the Senate.”
Although Skrmetti said he recognizes the need for representation, he said he feels the Senate will be hesitant to pass this legislation because another committee could increase bureaucracy in the SA.
Undergraduate Sen. Alexis Rice (CSAS), chair of the Senate’s Student Life Committee, said she is working to create an advocacy group to represent GW students at Mount Vernon. Rice said the first meeting will be held next Tuesday.
Skrmetti and Schneidmill said other problems cannot be addressed immediately.
“There are so many issues that it will take a whole year to address them all,” Skrmetti said. “Not everything, however, will be taken care of through legislation.”
Skrmetti said he thinks the first two pieces of legislation will get a positive response from the SA Senate.