Keeping Marvin centered

Activities in the Marvin Center – GW’s six-story hub of student life – are not simply governed by the whims of its users. A uniquely structured organization called the Marvin Center Governing Board makes sure to keep everyone in check.

The MCGB is an organization comprised of students, staff and faculty of the University and is charged with overseeing a wide breadth of aspects in the Marvin Center as well as the space available in Kogan Plaza, University Yard and the Alumni House.

Some of MCGB’s responsibilities include the allocation of a $9,000 annual budget, maintenance of the building and student office space assignments.

Senior Michael Whitten, who will assume the position of MCGB chairman at its next meeting, said that mixing students and administrators is one of the benefits of this organization.

“If we just left it up to the University, they could really do whatever they please with it,” Whitten said. “This is just a way to ensure that student interests are represented.”

Among other things, the MCGB “is basically the student voice” for advocating change in J Street and other dining facilities, Whitten said.

The board’s former chairman, senior Timothy Shea, said that the unique makeup of the MCGB is important to ensure that everyone in the University is represented.

“Faculty members offer a unique insight to the board and allow the board to be one of the most diverse voting bodies on this campus,” Shea wrote in an e-mail.

MCGB has 11 voting members and four non-voting members. The board is comprised of four undergraduates, one graduate student as well as two students appointed by the chairman and four faculty members chosen by the Faculty Senate.

One of the MCGB’s most important tasks is allocating its budget to student activities. Whitten said that the board usually gets about 20 requests every two weeks. The MCGB will usually approve requests to cover the cost of hiring a UPD officer, but a request for funds to cover something like advertising will usually be directly elsewhere, he said.

Last semester, MCGB allocated $1,710, which Whitten said is a small amount.”We always shoot low for the first semester because we have several huge events in the second semester,” he said.

When it comes to the assignment of office space for student organizations, Whitten said that the board makes every effort to ensure fairness.

“Basically every student org wants office space,” he said. “We’re looking for organizations that are looking for space to get work done in. We’re not happy to give space to an org just looking for a storage facility.”

Whitten said that despite the limited office space available, “we really work our hardest to make sure organizations that need it get space.”

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