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The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Officials to clear homeless encampment near campus in May
By Max Porter, Contributing News Editor • March 4, 2024

Vice President: Arya Thakur

Rachel Schwartz | Assistant Photo Editor
If elected, SA Treasurer Arya Thakur said he would push officials to expand Lerner Health and Wellness Center hours to at least midnight with an increase in Federal Work Study positions.

Year: Sophomore
Hometown: Farmington Hills, Michigan
Major: International affairs and finance
Student organizations/activities: Student Association
SA experience: Treasurer, director of inventory
Favorite restaurant in the District: Roaming Rooster
Favorite “Only at GW” moment: Learning about former Secretary of State John Kerry in class and seeing him a few days later in CVS
Favorite class: Spanish 1014 with Carola Goldenberg
Go-to study spot: Kogan Plaza
Role model: My father
Moniker choice: None of them
Deli order: Turkey sandwich

Arya Thakur wants to bring football back to GW.

Thakur said he hopes to revitalize the now-obsolete football team, which the University cut after the 1966 season due to high costs, with a new club team that he wants GW to transform into a varsity team. Though he acknowledged the idea would be “very hard to achieve,” he pledged to speak with the administration about bringing a team to the University.

Thakur declared his candidacy for vice president in March after serving as Student Association treasurer for nearly six months. He said he plans to streamline the SA’s governing documents and improve its finance policies to evoke more “financial honesty” from the SA, which he says is subject to little input or oversight from nonmembers.

“A lot of organizations, especially cultural organizations, feel like they have absolutely no say and no relevance with the financial process,” Thakur said. “And one of the number-one policies I want to implement is that all Finance Committee meetings should be open to the public, to all members of the public.”

The chair can decide who attends Finance Committee meetings, though committee members can appeal the decision, according to the SA bylaws. 

Student organizations can appeal the amount the committee initially grants them, and the committee presents general allocations before the senate approves them.

Thakur said as treasurer, he and his deputy were prevented from attending SA general allocations meetings last fall under then-Chair Ian Ching, but his successor Finance Committee Chair Linsi Goodin, CCAS-G, eventually let them back in. Goodin said she has invited Thakur to every committee meeting this semester.

If elected, Thakur said he would push officials to expand Lerner Health and Wellness Center hours to at least midnight with an increase in Federal Work Study positions. Lerner is currently open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 8 p.m. Sundays.

He said he also plans to push the University to add FWS positions to the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences’ advising office to help ensure students understand their class options better.

Thakur said he has never had to use the Title IX Office, but he has spoken with friends who told him they were unsure how to navigate the process of reporting instances of sexual assault. He said he plans to create a task force that would consist of 30 to 50 students, Title IX Office staff and administrators who would develop policy recommendations to improve Title IX services at the University.

The University pledged to add training and staff positions to the Title IX office last December after students alleged the office mishandled cases through its lack of communication and failure to bar assailants from campus.

He said as vice president, he would coordinate monthly reviews of the SA bylaws to remove redundancies.

“There’s a lot of things in the bylaws that are extremely redundant within the SA,” he said.

Thakur said he sees the role of vice president as one that should focus on creating new initiatives through the SA and representing student interests for the administration. He said after years of listening to friends and peers, he is ready to do both.

“I’ve been listening very patiently for a long time,” Thakur said. “And I think my campaign is now for me to essentially speak those problems out of existence, defog the problems and visualize the solutions.”

Sejal Govindarao contributed reporting.

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