Organizations like GSP and CMEA already contribute in extraordinary ways to addressing issues of socioeconomic inclusivity on campus, and by no means does GUSA wish to monopolize these efforts. This section of our platform is dedicated to delineating concrete ways in which GUSA can assist in advocating for a more inclusive campus along socioeconomic lines.
- GUSA should advocate for incorporating campus expenditures like laundry and printing into tuition in order for them to be subject to financial aid.
- In order to provide more food security for students on campus, Aramark should no longer be allowed to limit the number of guest swipes to which students are entitled. The meals in each student’s dining plan are paid for; therefore, students should be free to use them as they please. Additionally, GUSA should create an application to facilitate the process of students sharing meal swipes with one another. An example of which can be found here: http://college.usatoday.com/2015/09/22/columbia-university-food-insecurity/
- Provide additional GUTS buses and/or transportation services for students during university breaks (i.e. Thanksgiving, Winter Break, Spring Break, Easter, and at the end of the academic year) to reduce the cost of travel expenses to and from Reagan National Airport and Union Station.
- Provide extended weekend GUTS buses (even if offered in limited hours) to and from Dupont Circle, Rosslyn, and Wisconsin. Many students on campus work during the week, meaning that the only time they have to purchase groceries and/or access the city is on the weekends.
- Partner with the Cawley Career Center, GSP, and CMEA to provide students with limited means the financial support for internship transportation costs and to expand the professional attire exchange program.
- Specifically, GUSA should also advocate for financial support for nursing majors who are required to pay for daily transportation to and from clinics.
- Explore subsidized student metro program
- GUSA should collaborate with the four academic councils and/or Dean’s offices to draft a recommendation for faculty to create a weeklong grace period to allow students to purchase books and required course materials. Many professors on campus expect students to acquire hundreds of dollars worth of materials in a matter of days, not taking into consideration the financial stress caused by such a timeline. The first week’s readings should be available on Blackboard and/or through Lauinger’s course reserves system.
- GUSA should work to partner with other campus offices, institutes, departments, and organizations to expand the Georgetown Summer Fellows Program. Accepting unpaid internships in DC in the summers requires substantial financial support, something not available to a large portion of students in the Georgetown community.
- GUSA should work with the Office of the Student Worker Advocate, the Student Employment Office, and the Georgetown Business Improvement District to re-design the campus job bulletin in order to include not just campus job postings, but also to expand posting from the Georgetown neighborhood, M St, the Georgetown Waterfront, etc.
- Push for the comprehensive inclusion of supplemental course materials (i.e. art supplies, online course packs, medical tools for nursing/healthcare students, etc.) in students’ financial aid packages.
- GUSA should work with the CMEA to explore options for expanding its book exchange program at the end of each semester.
- GUSA should work with student organizations on campus to establish ways to address financial and cultural barriers to membership (i.e. club/greek life dues, etc.).
- GUSA should support current student efforts to make affordable healthcare more accessible for low-income students.
- GUSA should work to reduce graduation costs for seniors.
- GUSA should team up with CMEA and GSP to co-sponsor a cap and gown rental closet for seniors.
- The Office of Residential Living should partner with GSP and the Office of Student Financial Services to reduce the cost of on-campus family housing for students with high financial need.
- Portraits free for students with high need.
- GUSA should work with the organizers of Parent’s Weekend and Commencement to provide support for families of limited financial means to have an equal opportunity to access campus for these activities. Consider solutions like working with local hotels to subsidize costs and working with CMEA and GSP to explore avenues for additional funding for these seniors’ families.
College is often touted as the “great equalizer” in our society. In many respects Georgetown is a welcoming place for individuals from diverse backgrounds; however, as an institution, more can be done to level the playing field on our campus. Making socio-economic inclusivity a priority for GUSA is such a crucial way to help create an atmosphere that assures that everyone has an equal chance to thrive here, regardless of whether or not their parents went to college or how much is in their bank accounts.