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Serving the GW Community since 1904

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PAUL closes in Western Market
By Ella Mitchell, Staff Writer • April 22, 2024

President: Arielle Geismar

Rachel Schwartz | Assistant Photo Editor
If elected, Arielle Geismar said she plans to audit the Student Association’s general allocations process for student organizations and host workshops sharing more information on how the process works.

Updated: April 10, 2023, at 1:11 p.m.

Year: Junior
Major: International affairs
Hometown: New York City, New York
Student organizations/activities: President of the Residence Hall Association, Ultimate Frisbee, Kappa Delta, [insert here] improv
SA experience: None
Favorite restaurant in the District: Magic Gourd
Your favorite “Only at GW” moment: Being in the front row at the Swae Lee Spring Fling concert
Favorite class: Intro to Digital Music by Andrew Toy
Go-to study spot: Third-floor Gelman Library cubicles
Role model: My younger self
Moniker choice: Revolutionaries
Deli order: Plain bagel with turkey bacon, egg, cheese and tomato

First and foremost, Arielle Geismar is a community organizer.

After high school, she took a gap year to lobby on Capitol Hill, advocating for issues like mental health, queer and women’s rights and gun control. At GW, she began advocating for students’ housing and dining issues on campus in the Residence Hall Association, ascending to its presidency as a junior this academic year.

“My experience, at its core, is working to represent young people’s voices in places of authority, and I think that that experience is something that I could translate into this position,” she said.

Geismar announced her campaign for Student Association president last month, saying she wants to advocate for initiatives critical to the student body, like sexual assault on campus, hoping to incite a “cultural shift” at GW. 

If elected, Geismar said she plans to audit the SA’s general allocations process for student organizations – in which it distributes a portion of its funding to student organizations’ budgets – and host workshops sharing more information on how the process works. The SA treasurer can audit student organizations that receive SA funds, but the executive branch must stay separate from the legislative branch, which controls allocations, according to the SA bylaws.

“It’s incredibly important that student organizations have the resources that they need,” Geismar said. “And right now, they’re not getting what they need at all.”

In February, the SA Senate passed an act shifting the general allocations process from a line-item-based application to a category-based one. The finance committee hosted informational sessions on the allocations process in February.

She said she plans to raise awareness about the University-Wide Programs Fund, which the University created at the start of the academic year to fund large student events and offer more opportunities for student organizations to receive funding. A total of 26 student organizations requested money from the programs fund, receiving an average of $12,026.14 per event, according to the fund committee’s public allocation record.

Geismar said she intends to leverage the SA’s connection to the administration to advocate for the hiring of more mental health counselors to improve students’ mental and physical health on campus. Officials announced a partnership with AcademicLiveCare in January, offering students unlimited free virtual counseling sessions.

Support for students’ health and wellness also tied into Geismar’s plans to raise awareness about existing resources at GW for students needing support, like the Student Health Center and the Title IX Office. She said highlighting sexual assault resources on campus like the Office of Advocacy and Support and student organizations like Clearminds can promote trust within the GW community.

“When students know what’s going on, there creates a high degree of trust, and I think that that trust is what moves culture,” Geismar said. “That trust is what is empowering students.”

She said her responsibility as SA president would be facilitating roundtables between students and administrators and sending her cabinet members to student organization meetings to forge connections throughout the GW community.

“This role is not just about me and what I want,” Geismar said. “This role is not just about what I want to accomplish. I think there’s something to be said for investing in what students need, and that’s a priority for me.”

This post has been updated to correct the following:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that Geismar’s go-to Deli order is a bagel with turkey, bacon, egg, cheese and tomato. Her order contains turkey bacon, not turkey and bacon. We regret this error.

Erika Filter contributed reporting. 

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