SA strives to change status quo

Energy is the difference between greatness and mediocrity. While we struggle to finish papers, study for exams and prepare for the holiday season, we have to dig deep to find the energy we need to complete our tasks successfully.

As we approach the halfway mark of this academic year, I want to share how the Student Association has utilized positive energy to overcome mediocrity and strive for greatness.

This semester we defined the Student Association’s reason for being by developing the following mission statement:

“Chartered by the Board of Trustees, but elected by and accountable to students, the Student Association is the primary channel of communication to the administration. We advocate for, share knowledge with and serve as a resource to individual students, student groups and the GW community. Our home base is Marvin Center 424, but our presence reaches throughout the GW campus, Foggy Bottom community and Washington, D.C. as a whole.

“The SA is dedicated to promoting cultural awareness, improving academic resources and increasing outreach to student groups. We will become a financially responsible organization by ensuring all financial decisions directly benefit students. We are guided by principles of hard work, integrity, approachability and accountability. As a diverse organization, we are united by our all-encompassing common goal to serve students.”

Through the development and execution of this mission statement, we have identified several key issues. Our first priority is to fix the financial allocation process. We have formed a financial reform team to rethink and develop new policies on how we allocate funds to student groups and how those funds are monitored throughout the year.

We recognize the current system is not equitable and needs to include more checks and balances. Student groups should not have to jump through hoops to get money; our financial reform team promises solutions.

The SA Financial Reform Team cannot do it alone. That is why we thank the student leaders who already have participated in focus groups and hope that others with concerns and suggestions for a better system will share their ideas. A dedicated group has been researching financial allocation systems from other universities to look at alternative methods.

Our approach is threefold: identifying internal finance problems, gathering input from student group leaders and researching the system at other schools. The result will be a more equitable and responsive financial allocation system for student groups.

We need your help in other areas as well, especially in the improvement of academic resources. Every semester we administer the Academic Update – an evaluation of professors completed by students for students. This year we improved the questions and the format, but need you to complete the evaluations and return them to our office.

Many students find our test file useful, but it is not complete. By bringing in copies of your exams, we can build a better test file for all to utilize.

Lastly, don’t forget about our Spring Book Exchange. We will be collecting books Dec. 14 through Dec. 18 on the first floor of the Marvin Center. The book exchange will take place Jan. 12 through Jan. 16. Take advantage of this opportunity to purchase used books at a discounted rate.

The Student Association is united by our goal of serving students. Financial reform and the improvement of academic resources are only two examples of our hard work and service. We wish you the best of luck as you search for the energy to complete this semester and achieve greatness.

-The writer is president of the Student Association.

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