New EVP envisions an SA working for students

Kim McGraw said she knows she has big tasks ahead of her.

The newly appointed executive vice president of the Student Association said she’s ready for the challenges and is adjusting to her overnight transition to the post.

I think it’s going to be a great experience for me, and I think I will have a good influence on the SA as a whole, the junior said.

Former EVP and now President Caity Leu appointed McGraw after Leu assumed the presidency with the impeachment and removal of Phil Meisner last month.

McGraw previously held the post of Senate secretary.

I believe that she will avoid the internal politics which are so often the downfall of the Student Association, Leu said. (She’ll) instead concentrate on running Senate meetings smoothly, and working on behalf of students on numerous issues.

McGraw said she envisions an SA that effectively addresses student concerns and works on students’ behalf. And part of that, she believes, is changing the image of GW’s largest student organization.

It’s a return to our roots, and that’s what we’re here for, she said. Internally, new life has been breathed into these (senators).

Openness is the key to success for the organization, McGraw said.

There is a certain amount of trust that needs to be reinitiated, she said.

Some senators attribute the depletion of that trust, in part, to the recent impeachment controversy in the organization and discord between the Senate and executive branch.

Part of this renewal of trust will occur through a focus on student services, such as the Student Advocacy Service and the Academic Update, McGraw said. Both programs are now in full swing.

Initiatives that have far-reaching effects will continue to be pursued, she said.

The recent announcement that the School of Media and Public Affairs majors will have to pay an extra $2,000 in construction-related fees will soon be a top priority, she said.

We’re trying to figure out where we stand on it, she said.

Several goals have already been achieved, McGraw said.

Gelman Library will open several upper floors for extended hours during finals period, the Student Advocacy Service has seen great success since its renewal in late November, and the Academic Update is being distributed once again, she said.

The way the students view the SA depends on issues like these, she said. And by all estimates, the spring elections will also lend some indications on the student body’s perceptions of the SA.

McGraw predicts that the elections will be closely contended.

This is such a political campus and elections are going to be big, she said. People saw what happened (last year), and they know they cannot let that.get out of control again.

McGraw referred to last year’s election in which a recount of the vote was required, and conflict among candidates reached unusual proportions.

Aside from her official SA duties, McGraw works at a Georgetown political public relations firm and has previously dedicated her time to the University Band and the SA as assistant secretary.

Balancing all these activities may seem like a challenge, but to McGraw, it’s all in the planning and perspective.

I am the EVP, but I am also just like the other students, she said.

I love Kim because I think she’s as close to a `normal student’ as you can find in the Student Association, Leu said.

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