Fact checking candidates’ platforms

You’ve read the SA presidential platforms and seen their posters. Now find out if the top SA candidates’ claims hold up.

Platform point
Junior Erika Feinman wants to create positions for two students on the Board of Trustees, citing recent board decisions to cut programs in the women’s studies and music departments.

Fact check
The Board of Trustees signs off on the University’s total budget, but deans and department chairs determine how to divide schools’ funding. Efforts to create student positions on the Board of Trustees have historically failed because the board’s bylaws state that students and faculty cannot serve on the board.

Platform point
Feinman hopes to reduce the price of Mental Health Services counseling sessions, as well as Colonial Health Center appointments. She also wants to expand the hours the counseling center is open.

Fact check
Officials said last spring that they “do not have plans” to change the fee structure for counseling. Officials have also said that MHS is designed to serve as short-term facility.

The University offers discounted counseling based on students’ families’ income, which can in some cases cost $20 per session. MHS on the Mount Vernon Campus expanded its hours in September and is open until 7 p.m. three days each week.

Platform point
Junior Christina Giordano said she wants to extend housing to include more substance free options for residents.

Fact check
GW offers sober housing for freshmen in Mitchell Hall. Housing is more limited this upcoming fall. Shenkman Hall, International House, The Dakota and 1959 E Street, where some seniors currently live, will house only sophomores and juniors. Greek housing will be more limited and South Hall will be the only on-campus housing for seniors.

Platform point
Giordano said she wants more restaurants in the area to accept GWorld cards.

Fact check
Businesses with GWorld partnerships inflate their prices to afford the 8 to 10 percent commission fee and pay a 10-cent swipe fee to the University.

Platform point
Junior Tony Hart hopes to give staff an opportunity to voice their concerns directly to the Student Association every other week.

Fact check
The Staff Association met for the first time in November 2014 and are working to receive official recognition from the University.

Platform point
Hart said he wants to “restructure” waiting rooms in the Colonial Health Center and Mental Health Services to allow for more privacy for students.

Fact check
SA President Andie Dowd and former Executive Vice President Casey Syron worked with officials earlier this year create digital check-ins for students for both health centers. Last year, students with counseling services appointments used iPads to check in, and those who checked into health services were given a clipboard. Both still use the same waiting area space.

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