Inside Georgetown: When It Rains, It Pours!

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The weather here in D.C. can be very, very strange. It can easily go from a beautiful, temperate 60 degrees, to a freezing, rainy mess in less than 24 hours. With that said, you must become weather savvy if you want to become a TRUE Hoya. So let GUSA help you become a Georgetown Weather Aficionado!

Phase One: The Honeymoon

When you first move here in August, it will be hot, and it will stay hot. This is where Georgetown convinces you that the weather here is stable, don’t believe it. In a few weeks you won’t know what to wear, or if you’re even on Earth anymore.

Phase Two: Hot and Cold, and then more Cold, forever

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M Street during Blizzard Jonas

Around the end of September the temperatures will start to go down to your normal fall expectations, that is until we hit November. It can either stay like a normal season and heat back up to the 80s for no apparent reason. However after that it gets cold, and I mean super cold forever.

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Sunset over Healy Hall on a snow-free day

 

 

 

 

Phase Three: It Gets Better?

The last phase at Georgetown. This could literally happen anywhere between your return from spring break to the start of summer break. You just gotta roll with it. The weather here may be crazy, but it’s just another part of the Georgetown Experience that makes it so unforgettable.

 

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This post was written by Kevin Durham (MSB ’19), Deputy of Social Media for GUSA. Have stories you would like to share with the next freshman class? E-mail us at communications.gusa@gmail.com.

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Inside Georgetown: Unexpected Opportunities

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Congrats, Class of 2020! You’ve just made one of the biggest (and best) decisions of your life by coming to Georgetown this fall. You’re excited, anxious, maybe even ambivalent about your decision, and that’s why the Georgetown University Student Association (GUSA), our student government, is here with personal stories about life on the Hilltop.

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The Pope’s Joint Address to Congress

While you worry about finding your roommate on CHARMS and registering for classes, I want to remind you how fortunate you are to be a Hoya. Georgetown, and Washington DC as a whole, provide you with unfathomable opportunities. Don’t be afraid of new or unexpected opportunities—run with them.

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President DeGioia and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, an SFS Professor

You’re going to get a world-class education, first and foremost. You will be surrounded by hardworking, intelligent people, and these people are going to help build you up rather than tear you down. It’s not a competitive campus, it’s encouraging—everyone helps everyone else work harder and be stronger. Your professors are experts in their fields, like the International Relations professors who advise presidential campaigns. Be prepared to work harder than you ever have before, but trust me—it will be worth it. Take the classes you think are interesting or engaging, and not just the easy A.

Many clubs at Georgetown require applications, and groups like Blue & Gray, the tour guides, and the Corp will be competitive. Obviously, apply for these if they interest you! Georgetown has so many different organizations, and some that you’ve never even heard of or considered. When I got to Georgetown last fall, I never envisioned myself dancing in the Southeast Asian Society’s

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Rachel & I at Rangila

Rangila show or being a member of the GUSA Communications team, but participating in these has allowed me to meet so many interesting people on campus and get a better understanding of how campus works. Many students join a lot of clubs first semester and stick to their favorites after that, and I encourage you all to find the activities that make you happy and allow you to grow at Georgetown—even if they weren’t your first choice in the fall.

You’ll have the opportunity to see some truly amazing speakers on campus. Just last year, Georgetown hosted a variety of presidential candidates, from Carly Fiorina to Bernie Sanders. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and former Secretary of State and Georgetown faculty

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Bernie Sanders at Gaston Hall

member Madeleine Albright graced the stage of Gaston Hall. Prominent women like retired US Soccer player Abby Wambach and CBS This Morning host Norah O’Donnell inspired us at the OWN-IT Summit this spring. You’ll see prominent alumni like King Felipe IV of Spain around campus, and your classmates will help you find cool events around DC. Without my roommate eavesdropping in class, we never would have found out that you could call your Congressman for tickets to see Pope Francis at the Capitol—which we did. Because of that, I got to meet one Congressman and intern for another.

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The 2015 Harbin 3 Christmas Card

Most importantly, you have so many opportunities to meet great people and find your best friends on the Hilltop. My best friends could all be found on my freshman floor, Harbin 3, and we had so many adventures on and off the Hilltop—from attending events together, playing in the snow during Blizzard Jonas, and exploring DC to traveling to Florida together for Spring Break. My freshman year would have been completely different (worse) without them. Keep your door open the first few weeks and hang out in the common room—you’ll never know what great opportunities will arise for you and your squad.

 

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset This post was written by Angela Caprio (COL’19), Deputy of Social Media for GUSA majoring in German and Political Economy. Have stories you would like to share with the next freshman class? E-mail us at communications.gusa@gmail.com.

RECAP: Arts Roundtable

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The GUSA Arts Policy Team has three main goals for the upcoming academic year: first, to foster dialogue between and among all four art forms on campus, inviting both members of groups, students in art departments, and non-group/freelance artists to discuss common issue; second, to spearhead a biannual Artsweek program in the spirit of increasing and broadening arts involvement across the Georgetown campus; and finally, to initiate data-based research on arts engagement on campus to paint a more accurate picture of involvement in the arts, both from artists and patrons of the arts.

The dance groups plan to hold groups more accountable when they do not use their reserved spaces by decreasing reservation times from 2 hours to 1-1.5 hours. They will create a public calendar for room reservations at the beginning of the next semester. With Walsh Blackbox Theater no longer used as dance/theater space, Georgetown University Dance Company (GUDC) and Black Movements Dance Theater (BMDT) will need a small dance space for fall performances. For the purposes of funding, these groups will hold earlier elections to help create budgets that will help students with coverage fees.

The theater groups will use Village C space as a replacement for Walsh Blackbox Theater. They are concerned about higher than anticipated costs for renovating the space (sound-proofing, lighting, etc.) and finding time for production training. They hope as well to create an all-arts or all-theater wesbite with subtabs for each group with information about all upcoming events. Mentorship initiatives are also in the works.

The music groups are interested in a public calendar in which all rehearsal space reservations are marked. They are concerned about a lack of space for a Capella groups and hope for a Yates-like facility that is for the arts. They are concerned as well about the distribution of funding and the need for consistently tuned pianos.

The visual arts groups addressed the demand for SAC-funded art supplies. They hope to deal with issues of space allocation and are interested in expanding on-campus art spaces to include residence halls. They are concerned that many students are deterred from visual arts due to lab and material fees,  and want a possibility for an arts-based scholarship for students who cannot afford music equipment, art supplies, etc.

 

RECAP: Sexual Assault Open Forum

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Recently, GUSA sponsored a Sexual Assault Open Forum to continue the conversation between administration and students. Representatives from the administration included Carol Day (Director of Health Education Services – HES), Jennifer Wiggins (Sexual Assault Specialist – HES), Sergeant Sarah Halpren-Reuder (GUPD Sexual Assault Response Team – SART), Dr. Todd Olson (Vice President of Student Affairs), Dr. Phil Meilman (Director of Counseling and Psychiatric Services – CAPS), Judy Johnson (Director of the Office of Student Conduct – OSC), and Laura Cutway (Title IX Coordinator).

Information on Reporting:

The university is working on a standard timeline for sexual assault cases. After 30 days, Dr. Olson wants for the Title IX Coordinators and Office of Student Conduct to hear specifics (anecdotal evidence) on the case. It is complex, and both parties can send in evidence. Respondents have seven days to respond once a complaint is made. The Title IX Coordinators will then update the reporter weekly, even if no progress has been made. Ms. Cutway encourages people to follow up with her if they have concerns. If you want a case to remain confidential, it must go through HES, as Title IX is a semi-confidential resource. Dr. Olson stressed that specific outcomes cannot be publicly disclosed, but there have been serious consequences. Standard responses include suspension and expulsion from the university for sexual assault cases. Deans’ Offices have been accommodating to survivor needs.

Information from Each Specific Department:

Ms. Day and Ms. Wiggins highlighted the efforts of HES. They have created Center for Multicultural Equity and Access (CMEA) Walk-in Hours, and hope to further increase transparency and accessibility of resources, using a new brochure. As well, they intend to include more students of color and men in the conversation. Along with the Title IX office, a bystander education committee is being finalized. A bystander committee will work with What’s a Hoya, and will have housing point incentives for bystander education. They noted how HES has experienced an increased demand for services and hope to respond in a quick, accessible way, and make the process as easy for students as possible. HES wants to increase sexual assault education for first-year students, including a mandatory training session during NSO, Think About It, along with GUPD. HES has also continued to working with Sexual Assault Peer Educators (SAPE), which has 700+ students involved, with more partnerships with student organizations like the Corp in the works.

Dr. Meilman plans to grow CAPS staff incrementally in order to decrease wait times and increase availability to students. CAPS also emphasizes that all Georgetown students need to understand that the university does not tolerate this behavior. They have enacted a policy for a free semester of CAPS services for survivors of sexual assault and respondents. CAPS is partnering with HES for coordinated care. Through the Mental Health Advisory Board, CAPS is altering the university’s Medical Leave of Absence (MLOA) policies to create more safety nets for returning students.

Ms. Cutway and the Title IX Office plan to increase reporting by ensuring that students understand the process of reporting. They have created a flow chart of how to access services, checklist for confidential and non-confidential resources, list of Title IX staff, FAQ, and better website for online reporting. They also intend to put more emphasis on a bystander intervention program in order to prevent sexual assaults. The Title IX Office hired Samantha Berner as the Title IX Investigator back in December.

Dr. Olson supports a working group for bystander intervention programs and an increased focus on resources for graduate students. He acknowledges that our current reporting system is not perfect, but they are working towards improvements. He continues to build relationships with HES and CAPS and increase partnerships between students and administrators. “Open dialogue and shared work has led to action,” he stated at the event.

Sgt. Halpren-Reuder provided updates on GUPD SART. They are no longer required to report sexual assaults to the Metro Police Department. GUPD SART plans to better bridge the gaps between law enforcement officers and students. All new hires receive an orientation, and the entire department is trained in crisis intervention. SART currently includes 14 officers with forty hours of specialized training, who help students access necessary resources after a crisis.

Ms. Johnson and the OSC are training for hearing boards, which will provide the university with trauma-informed training from outside experts.

All GoCards from this point forward have phone numbers for emergency resources, including CAPS and GUPD, printed on the back. You can replace yours for free at the GoCard Office on the ground floor of Darnall Hall, next to Epi and the Student Health Center.

If working with HES, STI testing can be access for free from Washington Hospital Center through coordination with Student Health.