The fall semester has just begun and almost all of the Student Association’s goals for the school year were accomplished or are nearing accomplishment just four months after the organization’s election.
SA leaders successfully lobbied Safeway to join the GWorld program, worked with administrators for the return of the GW Reads free news publication program and the Colonial Invasion pep rally and are working to increase the SA’s communication and assistance to students.
“A lot of people had doubts about some of our goals,” said SA President Nicole Capp. “Hopefully, students can have a bit more faith . because we’re working hard and we want to improve the quality of life for students on this campus.”
The initiatives were part of the SA’s “shared vision for student advocacy,” which Capp and Executive Vice President Brand Kroeger laid out last spring.
“We went in and we put up the shared vision . and every day we were in that office we pounded that out so that we made progress,” said Kroeger, who campaigned for the return of GW Reads and Colonial Invasion when he ran for EVP.
Part of the shared vision involved increased support for student organizations. This year, SA senators will be linked with and responsible for seven or eight different organizations as part of the Senate Responsibility Bill, Kroeger said.
“These students will serve as ambassadors from the SA to these student organizations,” said Kroeger, who chairs the Senate in his capacity as EVP.
In addition, the shared vision vowed to cut SA spending by $10,000 to give more money to student organizations. Capp estimated $20,000 was cut from the executive’s budget, all of which will go to student organizations. She said ending co-sponsorships for events like the Friends Block Party helped to cut their budget.
“A huge part of my summer has been working on . little things and preparing the Student Association so that it can be viewed in a different way,” Kroeger said. “It is extremely important to me that the SA’s image changes.”
A major pillar of Capp’s campaign for president was the GW Informed initiative. As part of the program, the SA will be hosting weekly town hall meetings at the Marvin Center. The first will be held Wednesday on the recent changes to J Street.
GW Informed also includes the revamped SA Web site, which was launched at the beginning of the summer. The Web site features a blog from Capp and other SA members as well as reports from various SA officials and committees.
The Web site also includes a directory of exams available for viewing at the SA’s Marvin Center office. Capp said the tests could not be scanned and placed online due to “legal, intellectual property issues.” She said the goal was to have the test bank up and going by the start of classes.
To implement the GW411 initiative, which was also one of Capp’s major campaign promises, two assistants in the SA office will have manuals on how to assist students through the GW bureaucracy, Capp said.
Tim Miller, director of the Student Activities Center, which oversees the SA, praised Capp and Kroeger for their work.
“They have worked diligently and collaboratively on behalf of students all summer long,” Miller wrote in an e-mail. “Few SA leaders have committed the time and energy to their summer work as the SA has this year.”
Capp and Kroeger have also worked with senators on different projects throughout the summer. Senator Nina Pedrad (CSAS-U), a sophomore, is working with the executive branch on a book of discounts for GW students.
Pedrad said Capp and Kroeger are “leading by example” and have both spent many hours in the office. “It’s awesome to work under people pulling their weight,” Pedrad said.
The first Senate meeting of the school year will be held Sept. 10 at the Mount Vernon Campus’ Post Hall.