Almost every day, we’re told to slow down. People say that we have our “entire lives ahead of us,” but why should that be an excuse to take a break at this time of our lives? Personally, I’m motivated by change and the influence I know I can have on the world.
Although difficult to explain, directing the Federal Relations Office in GUSA has provided me the opportunity to accomplish this objective and begin leaving my footprint today. Unlike the rest of GUSA, our work is largely done beyond Georgetown’s walls. Frequently, we describe ourselves as breaking the “Georgetown bubble.” By engaging with the DC community and the national government in such a personal way, the rest of the members of Federal Relations and I have begun to break away from the usual day-to-day routine that characterizes a typical college student. If fact, we spend more time off-campus these days than we do on-campus. We want to make it clear to each individual we meet that Georgetown students are active beyond their walls. It’s one of the main reasons we testify at hearings, lead DC Statehood working groups, bring constituents to Capitol Hill for Higher Education and Mental Health advocacy work, and engage with the low-income Wards in DC.
Each person within Federal Relations is incredible. I have been blown away by the passion and dedication I have seen. What’s unique about us is that each person has his or her own initiatives and areas of expertise – there is not a single person who sits around aimlessly. Whether starting the studentleadershipalliance.org to connect institutions from across the country for a central advocacy purpose, working to start a Campus Kitchen at Georgetown, managing alumni relations, or planning a variety of networking and career opportunities for the fall, the Google Calendar our office swears by is jam packed. Best of all, each of us can confidently say that we are working to influence change in DC and the country now.
However, I had no idea it would blossom this quickly. When building GUSA’s Federal Relations Office from the ground up, I was terrified. I was confident it would be a success since we are a school filled with students known for their strong political opinions, but I was not sure how long the path to get there would be. That’s what has really blown me away. Once established, not a minute was wasted, and I even find myself racing to keep up with all the amazing work being done. In my opinion, a great deal of our success up to this point is because we view ourselves as a family. Meetings are fun because they’re with some of my best friends, friends I would have never had if this opportunity did not come my way. I admire and look up to everyone in Federal Relations more than they know and can’t wait for all the events and advocacy days we have lined up for the fall.
As long as the national and local government runs, we continue to sprint. This summer has been filled with Federal Relations work, and I can confidently say that all of us would not want it any other way. Keep your eyes and ears open for all our fall events that will allow you to break away from your typical Georgetown routine.
Like us on Facebook (GUSA Federal Relations Office) to stay informed about upcoming events or email email@example.com if interested in helping our advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill this fall.
This post was written by Kotryna Jukneviciute (COL’18), GUSA Director of Federal & DC Relations, majoring in Government with an International Relations focus, pursuing Arabic Studies and European Studies certificates. Have stories you would like to share with the next freshman class? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.