Column: Looking to the future

I am humbled by the opportunity that you have given me to serve as your Student Association president. As I enter the official transition period toward assuming my duties, I am determined to keep the faith of those who voted for me and to earn the trust of those who did not. Now that the election results have been certified I look to the road ahead with confidence, optimism, and most of all, ambition.

I congratulate all those who ran for office this season. Election for any SA office is a major endeavor and a tremendous responsibility. To those who won office, I hope you share my vision of working together for the benefit of our constituents. I encourage you to visit www.AudaiShakour.com for more information on how to get involved and apply online for a Cabinet or associate cabinet position in my administration.

Over the next few months, our transition staff will work toward accomplishing our goal of a smooth changeover in the SA executive branch. We are currently accepting applications for anyone that wants to work as a student caseworker in the to-be-created Student Services and Advocacy Center. A proposal for an online web forum where students can swap books, post announcements, search for jobs and apartments is in the works as well, with a projected launch in mid-July. Finally, I intend to meet my campaign promise of fiscal responsibility. I’ll work hard to be frugal so that your student groups will have access to the tens of thousands of dollars that have traditionally been allocated to the SA executive. I will also continue to meet with each incoming senator to start the dialogue between our branches that is long overdue.

The Student Services and Advocacy Center (SSAC) will work on one central principle: “Any problem, any time, anywhere.” If you find yourself in a housing dispute with CLLC, an argument with a student or professor that needs mediation, or on trial by SJS – you need help. We as students work together every day to put on programming and to work in study groups, but we try to solve our biggest problems alone. I offer a solution – let the SA help you out. You wouldn’t believe how many dedicated individuals work for the Student Association, ready and willing to help you with your problems. In the past, the most flagrant issue with the structure of the SA was that there was no way for you to submit your problem, and no specific individual there to receive it. With the SSAC, we fix that problem. This Center will act as the campus public defender; committed to assisting students with any on-campus matter so students will be first. Through a major expansion of the AskGeorge e-mail initiative, you will find the ability to report your problems online at sa.gwu.edu by mid-July, finding a helping hand when you do so.

By that time, the SA online Web Portal will go live. Through a partnership with GW alumae at SwapSwop.com, we’re working on developing a website that will drastically ease the process of book swapping, apartment hunting, test file access, study group development and campus-wide discussion. This partnership offers fiscal growth potential to the SA and a brand new focus in student government here at GW.

I am convinced that I was elected because of the dedication of my family and friends, the tireless work of my campaign staff, and of course, you, the students of GW. I know that with the support of the student body and the administration, along with a dedicated Senate, the Student Association can truly enhance student life on campus and see significant change in the coming year. Now that election season is behind us, I look forward to a new day in the Student Association, where we can work together as a coalition to put students first.

-The writer, a junior majoring in international affairs, is the Student Association president-elect.

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