Student Association lays out tasks for the fall

Mirroring the work of last year’s campus lobbyists, the Student Association will again prioritize student space and cost of attendance on its fall to-do list.

SA President Ashwin Narla and Executive Vice President Abby Bergren laid out a handful of goals this summer, including adding late-night hours to academic halls and eliminating the school’s $10 transcript fee while helping roll out GW’s campus-wide calendar.

A trial of the calendar will kick off in mid-September, giving student organizations the chance to opt in for the test drive. The Office of External Relations – the department spearheading the effort – hopes to fully launch the calendar by the end of the fall semester, Narla said.

The calendar will compile a list of events from student organizations and academic and administrative departments on campus, replacing what Narla calls decentralized web sites.

Student organizations will be able to submit their events through a public form to be processed by administrators in the Office of External Relations, University spokeswoman Michelle Sherrard said.

The executive duo is also writing a proposal that calls for extended hours in buildings like Duques Hall, as well as expanding study space in residence halls.

Narla and Bergren are lobbying for Duques Hall to remain open past 11 p.m., echoing calls from previous SA leaders who wanted the building open 24 hours. To avoid the costs of additional University Police Department patrols during extended hours – administrators’ biggest concern with the plan last year – Narla and Bergren want to install blue emergency lights in the study spaces.

Director of the Center for Student Engagement Tim Miller, who oversees student groups, heralded the SA’s success in securing additional student space as “the most tangible change we’ve seen the SA make in the last two years,” adding that he expects more concrete success this year.

Narla and Bergren will also piggy-back onto last year’s fee removal project, highlighting the University’s $10 transcript fee as this year’s first task.

Bergren said $5 out of the $10 transcript fee is “merely a deterrent.” She hopes to create a downloadable PDF that would replace the school’s “unprofessional”-looking unofficial transcript.

Last year, the Registrar’s office produced about 40,000 transcripts, Sherrard said.

Bergren said administrators working on the project are “on board,” but have not yet created a timeline.

The team is also keeping two goals on the back burner. They are looking to create a step-by-step student affairs strategic plan to improve campus life and eventually host a GW Day to boost Colonial pride.

“I think the idea behind it is to provide a community event,” Narla said. “It’s something we are considering and will put together, but right now the main focus is student space and the fee work.”

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