Area student leaders meet to discuss campus issues

Student government leaders from GW, George Mason, American and Marymount gathered in Phillips Hall Saturday to brainstorm ways to address campus dining options and disparities in academic advising.

In addition to highlighting the nearly universal problems on college campuses, the monthly D.C. Metropolitan University Student Alliance meeting also revealed that progress toward a student Metro discount has stalled.

Student Association Executive Vice President Kyle Boyer, SA Sen. Nick Polk, CCAS-U, SA Vice President of Community Affairs James Lifton and Greta Twombly, SA’s executive chief of staff, led the discussion. Nearly 30 students came from the four colleges, though D.C. MUSA also includes Georgetown, Howard, Trinity and the University of the District of Columbia.

“MUSA was really reinvigorated under Nicole’s administration,” Twombly, a junior, said after the meeting, referring to former SA president Nicole Capp. “It gives us a chance to compare how things are at other schools, which is the whole idea behind the meetings.”

Boyer, a junior, has been working for about two years to get discounted Metro tickets for students. He told the group he was frustrated by the recent lack of progress after a period of positive signs from GW administrators and Metro officials.

“We’re in a relative holding pattern,” said Boyer, who shared a letter he wrote last week to an Arlington County Board member asking for support. “We have not moved forward as much as we would like. We don’t want to see this fizzle out.”

The tentative discounted Metro plan would include an unlimited 16-week rail pass for $100, Boyer said.

The majority of the two-hour meeting, however, was dominated by discussion and complaints about two topics: academic advising and dining services.

“Advising is one of the worst aspects of GW,” Twombly told the other student leaders. “We’re trying to make it an equal and fair process.”

All of the GW students emphasized the difference in advising quality between the different colleges. American and George Mason students said advising was also a problem area at their schools, though partially remedied by making interactive advising forms available online.

“I think if you go to your provost or whoever and say, ‘Mason and American have this online, and it has worked for them,’ it might be more likely to succeed,” said senior Claire Forman, George Mason’s student vice president.

The GW delegation was particularly impressed with a new, environmentally friendly dining hall at George Mason.

The dining hall is LEED-certified, composts all waste and uses disposable utensils and cups for the take-out section. The GMU dining program, designed by an executive chef, includes basics like grilled cheese and chicken strips, while also rotating other options every day.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.