Facing long odds, SA to hold campus-wide vote on relocating health clinic, counseling services

Sen. Nick Gumas, CCAS-U, sponsored both bills at the Monday meeting. Erica Christian | Contributing Photo Editor
Erica Christian | Contributing Photo Editor

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Anuhya Bobba

The Student Association will hold a campus-wide vote on whether to move the campus health center and counseling services into one building on campus, just days after a top administrator said relocating the offices was not feasible.

Senators unanimously approved the resolution, which did not provide alternative on-campus locations for the offices.

The SA’s effort to rally support comes days after Senior Associate Dean of Students Mark Levine told The Hatchet that the University does not have any on-campus locations to accommodate both departments at this time.

Sen. Nick Gumas, CCAS-U, who sponsored the bill, said he predicted an outpour of support for the plan – which could sway administrators to make other space available.

“We aren’t just asking something for the sake of asking something. We are asking something because research shows that this is the best thing for our students,” he said. “We wanted to put this issue into vote so students themselves can directly show their support. Administrators can then get a hint that we want this.”

Senators will set a date for the vote within 20 days, according to the body’s constitution.

Levine, the University’s top health administrator, also said merging both departments on campus was unlikely because of the steep costs of moving and switching building leases.

Student Health Service is located at 2141 K St., while the University Counseling Center is located at 2033 K St. Levine declined to say how many years remained in GW’s leases with the buildings.

The last SA referendum was held last fall, when the majority of voters choosing to increase the student activity fee. About 14 percent of the student body took part in the online voting.

Gumas also sponsored the second bill of the night, which called on the University to conduct a campus-wide study of hazing by the National Collaborative for Hazing Research and Prevention.

He said that the University has not taken a “proactive” stance on hazing, and that the survey would help students fight the issue with concrete data rather than anecdotes.

This post was updated Tuesday, Oct. 8 to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that the student health legislation did not initially call for a referendum. That initial legislation did include a referendum, but senators voted to change the non-binding resolution into a bill.

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