The University will start accepting designs this week for a float in this January’s presidential inaugural parade.
The Student Association is fundraising and planning for the float – the first for GW since President Harry Truman took office – with logistical help from the School of Media and Public Affairs, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, students and alumni.
“All student designs will be considered,” said senior Charlie Burgoyne, SA executive director of programming and activities. “We want students to be involved with this.”
The SA decided to split the creation of the float into two sections: finance and applications, and construction. Burgoyne is in charge of construction and Tim Miller, executive director of the Student Activities Center, said they have not chosen a coordinator of finance and applications.
Burgoyne wrote in an executive update for the SA on Tuesday that his group was still “campaigning for the fiscal portion” of the venture.
Starting this week students will be able to submit designs and slogans for the float, Burgoyne said.
“The students have gone out and have tried to get as many people from different academic and student affairs and other divisions to be a part of it,” Miller said.
After the SA chooses the float design, University officials will meet to approve the proposal before it is sent to the Presidential Inaugural Committee for final approval.
Interested students may be allowed to stay at the University free of charge over winter break to help build the float, Burgoyne said. Students who lack construction skills can still get involved with the project.
SEAS will look over the design application to make sure it is structurally sound while students from SMPA will attempt to spread the word to media organizations.
Burgoyne emphasized the historical significance of the float in GW’s history.
Frank Simmons, a former Hatchet editor who designed the float for the 1949 inauguration of Truman, “has been adamant about getting back into the parade,” Burgoyne said.
“He is the one that really got a hold of us,” Burgoyne said. If the project gets in, Simmons told Burgoyne that he will fly his family down to see the parade.
Only two schools in the nation, American and GW, have a charter from Congress to submit floats to the inaugural parade, which will be held on Jan. 20 after the swearing-in ceremony.