Goals outlined at first Student Association meeting

Correction appended

Student Association President Jason Lifton outlined the SA’s goals and upcoming initiatives for the school year at the body’s first Senate meeting of the year Tuesday night.

Lifton said one of his top priorities of the year is to increase the amount of study space available on campus. He said turning the 3rd floor of the Gelman Library – where periodicals are stored – into study space would give the chronically overcrowded library additional study space.

He was quick to add, however, that no matter how hard the SA tries, Gelman “will not be fixed” this year.

Lifton also announced a partnership the SA reached with Kaplan Test Prep, which will offer potential graduate students 10 percent off all practice exams. The SA will also benefit financially from the partnership, receiving an 8 percent cut of the money GW students spend on Kaplan practice tests. The money the SA receives from the partnership will be placed in a scholarship fund.

“We intend to put it all towards a scholarship for students who want to take Kaplan courses who cannot afford it,” Lifton said.

Executive Vice President Rob Maxim said the SA will also work with the University in its quest to amend Student Judicial Services practices. The Hatchet reported earlier this month that SJS is planning to revamp its judicial policies, focusing more on educating students about making smart and safe choices, rather than doling out disciplinary records.

The SA Senate also approved first-year law student Jake Chervinsky to the vice president of judicial and legislative affairs position.

Chervinsky, who graduated from GW in the spring, served as the chair of the Joint Elections Committee – the body that oversees SA elections to ensure candidates are adhering to the rules set before them – last year.

Chervinsky said he plans to amend SA election rules, getting rid of rules that lead to “frivolous violations.”

Additionally, Chervinsky said he plans to correct the reporting of violations during campaigns, hoping to have the candidates resolve their issues before having JEC investigators report them.

Chervinsky was approved with 13 votes to 1 vote, with one abstention.

Sen. Charlie Rybak, U-At large, opposed the nomination, saying he disagreed with Chervinsky’s position on eliminating candidate spending limits.

“Jake is extremely qualified for the position, we just have different visions for the JEC,” Rybak said. “I disagree with his intention to take away spending limits during campaigns, and I think reporting of violations should not exist unless a candidate is willing to put their name on it,” he added, referring to candidates who anonymously tip off the JEC about campaign violations.

Maxim said SA meetings will become more productive in the coming weeks.

“The meeting was a reorientation for the senators,” Maxim said. “It was to clue them in on what [Lifton] and I did this summer while we were in D.C. and help them start to dive into everything that is going on right now.”

This article was corrected on Sept. 9, 2010 to reflect the following:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that Student Association President Jason Lifton said that turning the third floor of Marvin Center into study space would add 200,000 square feet of space to Gelman. This is incorrect.

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