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Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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SA Senate plans to allow mobile GWorld access to Gelman Library, add GWorld to mobile payment apps

Sage Russell | Assistant Photo Editor
Members of the Student Association Senate discussed their policy goals for the next academic year via Zoom last week.

Members of the Student Association Senate convened to discuss adding mobile GWorld access as an option for entry to campus facilities and increasing SA engagement on the Mount Vernon Campus in a meeting last week.

Senators shared plans for a system that would allow students to enter Gelman Library by scanning their smartphone via the MobileID app and add GWorld to mobile payment platforms like Apple Pay and Android Pay, which they said could take up to a year because adding the cards to the apps would require replacing the current GWorld scanners at campus buildings. SA Vice President Demetrius Apostolis said he plans to increase the number of SA meetings held on the Vern to better involve Vern residents into campus life and bolster the amount of nonregular senate meetings to expand collaboration on initiatives excluded from regular meeting agendas.

SA Sen. Ryan Bruck (G-at-Large) said she reached out to employees at the GWorld Card Office and Gelman Library to discuss adding a mobile entry option to the library. She said Gelman staff said there is not a secondary sign-in option for students outside of their GWorld card and that she has seen Gelman staff reject students entry to the library because they did not have their GWorld cards with them.

“I’ve witnessed so many students get turned away from the library and have to go back to Virginia before they can get in, and something I really wanted to work on,” Bruck said.

Apostolis said he believes implementing a secondary sign-in alternative is an “easy fix” because he didn’t see any “foreseeable” issues with the plan. He said he would email a Gelman administrator and reach out to the GWorld Card office to discuss adding the mobile entry option.

Apostolis said he has also been working on getting GWorld Cards on Apple Pay and Android Pay to unlock dorm rooms, but the University needs to replace the door scanners before officials begin granting entry via different apps. He said adding GWorld to the apps will potentially be a yearlong project, but the University can sell the current scanners to raise funds for purchasing new technology.

“Where we’re at with that currently is there needs to be a capital infusion grant to have the scanners replaced,” Apostolis said. “We can sell the old scanners but we need new scanners to allow that to happen. The cards already have the technology but the scanners do not, so this is like a long term, maybe over the course of the year project.”

SA Sen. Andrew An (ESIA-U), the chair of the Physical Facilities and Urban Affairs Committee, said the University currently spends at least $2 million a year to maintain the current GWorld system and that the cost rises as tap readers age. He said senators must understand tap readers are “very expensive” considering the “tens of thousands” of scanners that the community uses across campus and that when proposing the project to officials, senators need to present a clear solution on how replacing scanners will benefit the University.

“I think when we present such an idea to the University, we have to present a clear cost benefit analysis and also consider the fact that several millions of dollars will be taken away from elsewhere,” An said.

An also said he hopes the GW Police Department publicizes officer response time data in light of the University’s decision to arm some police officers next fall because he believes the data will help students decide if they will call GWPD or 911 when requesting an emergency response. He said he is aware of multiple instances where students waited more than 30 minutes for officers to respond after calling requesting a GWPD response.

He said he sent an invitation to GWPD Chief James Tate to discuss Tate’s goals for the upcoming school year but has not yet heard back.

“I know a lot of students are anxious and concerned about arming GWPD officers, and I think that something I’d like to work on is to at least have the data and information surrounding GWPD response times because the validity of having armed officers on campus has truly brought into question if it’s just easier and quicker to call 911,” An said.

SA Sen. Izzy Brophy (CCAS-U) said she lived on the Vern as a freshman and an upperclassman and that she has noticed there is little University support for upperclassmen residents. She said she wants to create programming to incorporate these students into the community and increase the availability and efficiency of emergency medical services for Vern residents.

“Emergency medical response doesn’t really exist here,” Brophy said. “There’s several stories of students having to wait 30 minutes to an hour in order to just receive emergency medical care, or they have to take the Vex to get to Foggy to receive that.”

Apostolis said he plans to increase the number of SA meetings held on the Vern from one meeting per year to two per semester and hopes to hold office hours on the Vern to increase SA engagement with students who live on the campus.

He said he plans on implementing more opportunities for open discussions in meetings throughout the summer because they are “so much more effective” in encouraging senators to work on achieving their initiatives together instead of only speaking about what is on regular meeting agendas.

Apostolis added that he has met senators to discuss expanding Lerner Health and Wellness Center hours and that he will work with administrators and create legislation to change the center’s operating times, which he hopes to complete by the fall. He said he also is starting a senate recap series where he will release public videos updating students about what occurred during the meeting.

“I think it’s important for transparency reasons that we make sure that we’re getting out there spreading the message and letting the public know exactly what we’re doing,” he said.

Apostolis said he also started research on expanding the U-Pass program to summer students and part-time graduate students.

Senators will hold the next SA Senate meeting Monday, June 5 at 8 p.m. over Zoom.

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About the Contributor
Hannah Marr, Assistant News Editor
Hannah Marr is a sophomore double majoring in journalism and mass communication and history from New York, New York.  She is The Hatchet's 2023-2024 assistant news editor for the Student Government beat.
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