Student Association spends summer in outreach

Student Association President Jason Lifton and Executive Vice President Rob Maxim say they’re already off to a successful year, thanks to a “student outreach plan” to facilitate contact with the student body.

Since taking office in April, increasing communication between the SA and the student body has been Lifton’s priority. Coming off of the summer, Lifton believes he and Maxim were “incredibly successful in getting the SA’s name out there.”

Beginning with all five Colonial Inaugurations, Lifton said he and Maxim made a point to reach out to incoming freshmen.

“Rob and I went to almost every CI event and talked to [the freshmen] about the SA and GW in general,” Lifton said, estimating that between the two of them they met more than 1,000 freshmen.

Lifton said they’ll be using e-mail newsletters and a revamped SA website, which is still under construction, to publicly congratulate students for their accomplishments. Funding and co-sponsoring more events on campus will also be a priority.

“This year we are looking into co-sponsoring larger-scale events that are for everyone,” Lifton said. “We plan to publicize the things that we’re working on to keep students aware of what we are doing.”

The SA reverted back to using one website instead of three, after the much-touted network of websites launched by former President Julie Bindelglass and then-EVP Lifton last year went largely unused.

Lifton called the new website an important tool to distribute information, but acknowledged that it won’t have much of a purpose unless students know about it and it’s used effectively.

Lifton said he and Maxim also intend to have a more visible presence on campus and to have more personal interaction with students. They will be holding office hours in residence halls and will travel with Helen Cannaday Saulny, the new dean of freshmen, on her freshman house tour later this month.

This summer, the SA also worked to reform its notoriously slow financial reimbursement process for student organizations. A tracking system was put in place to ensure all expenditure approval forms are processed efficiently, with the expectation that there will be no lag time on reimbursements on the SA’s end.

“We have set up our own computer system to work with Student Activities Center so we can manage student org accounts,” Lifton said.

SAC still has to put the final approval on all reimbursements.

Unlike past years, no senators resigned this summer, although the School of Medicine and Health Services and the Graduate School of Education and Human Development each have one open seat.

The first SA Senate meeting of the fall will be Sept. 6.

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