Freshman Orientation Guide: Guide to the SA


President Jason Lifton and Executive Vice President Rob Maxim.

Lifton heads the executive branch, which consists of the executive vice president and eight vice presidents appointed by the president and approved by the Student Association Senate.

Maxim oversees the legislative branch and is the chair of the Senate.


There are currently 32 senators in the Senate. Each senator belongs to one of four committees: Finance, Rules, Academic Affairs, and Student Life, which are all led by a chair and co-chair.

The Finance Committee’s primary function is to allocate money to GW’s student organizations. It does this in the beginning of the fall and spring semesters, and awards co-sponsorships to organizations in between. The money it allocates comes from student fees. Last fall, the senate approved a $380,000 initial allocations bill. The Finance Committee is chaired by Sen. Chris Clark, U-At Large, who served as co-chair for the committee last year.

The Rules Committee, chaired by Sen. Amanda Galonek, CCAS-U, screens new applicants to the SA, including the three non-voting freshman senator positions. All bills regarding SA operations must go through the Rules Committee.

Sen. Meredith Waters, SPHHS-U, chairs the Academic Affairs Committee, which monitors areas related to academics for undergraduate and graduate students. The committee is responsible for student issues including Gelman Library, course evaluations and academic advising.

The Student Life Committee handles issues and legislation relating directly to the student body, including housing, dining, extracurricular and athletic activities, Greek Life, health and safety, and student counseling. Last year’s passed gender-neutral housing bill came from the Student Life committee. Sen. Dylan Pyne, CCAS-U, is the chair, and also served as the committee’s co-chair last year.

Freshmen Senators

Prospective freshmen senators must be passed through the Rules Committee before three are approved by the entire Senate. They are given committee assignments and a seat at the Senate table but do not have a vote in Senate business.


The Student Court hears cases and issues final rulings on disputes between parties within the SA, usually regarding the constitutionality of an action, decision, or funding. Last year, three cases were brought before the court. The court also solves disputes during elections.There are five court seats, led by Chief Judge Jen Goldstein.

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