Student Association President Audai Shakour gave the annual State of the SA speech on Tuesday at the first Senate meeting of the year in the Marvin Center.
Shakour outlined his plans and goals for the year, among them an initiative to keep freshmen involved on campus, the creation of the Student Services and Advocacy Center and the development of “a fiscally sound budget.”
“All of my administration understands that the money in our budget is not ours, it is for the students,” Shakour said.
He continued by saying that he wants the SA to function as a unified organization. He said his goal is “to not have an executive and a Senate but a single student association.”
Over the summer Shakour installed the Student Services and Advocacy Center, led by senior Jon Ostrower, who last year ran for SA president.
Shakour hopes to staff the student advising service with student case workers in an effort to improve student services in five areas: judicial issues, student organization assistance, academic advising, housing concerns and general assistance.
Over the summer Shakour also created the House of Freshmen, which will be funded by the executive budget to recruit freshmen for the SA and other student organizations and to keep them involved on campus.
By redesigning the allocation fund within the executive, Shakour said he plans to use a budget of $35,000, half the size of former SA President Omar Woodard’s budget last year.
“Rather than allocating funds to each of the vice presidents, funds will be allocated for the following four categories: student services and advocacy, education, diversity, and sponsoring events which have a positive impact on student life,” Shakour said.
In the annual speech, Shakour also spoke of a plan to turn the Square 54 vacant old hospital site on 23rd and I St. into a state-of-the-art cancer research center. But since the summer, University officials and community residents have been in the delicate process of planning a mixed office, retail and residential facility there.
Shakour highlighted other initiatives his administration is working on, including the new SA Web site, ColonialTrader.com and a GW Live-Aide concert to raise money for victims of Hurricane Katrina.