The GW Student Association Senate met for the third straight week in November in the School of Media and Public Affairs building to hear from Senior Associate Provost for Enrollment Management Laurie Koehler about the university’s “need-aware” admissions practice.
Provost Koehler, who admitted last month that the university had been falsely advertising its undergraduate admissions process as “need-blind” for years even though some applicants’ financial information was taken into account when making a final admission decision, told the Senate that the Office of Admissions has taken steps to accurately communicate its practices.
Koehler said the Office of Admissions has taken steps to include more information on the undergraduate admissions website and hold additional staff training.
“At the request of President Steven Knapp, I’ve spent a great deal of time trying to engage in conversations with our current admissions staff, current administrators, reviewing our admissions print and online materials, to try to gauge what happened,” Koehler said.
“I did, regrettably, identify occasions where we were not as accurate as we should have been.”
In response to a question by Sen. Ryan Counihan (SoB-U), Koehler said the Office of Admissions has not changed the way it admits and denies students and continues to emphasize a holistic approach.
After the conclusion of Koehler’s statement and questions from the senators, the Senate unanimously passed a bill approving fall allocations for approximately 40 new student organizations. Senator Counihan, chair of the finance committee, reported the committee had just under $200,000 remaining in their co-sponsorship fund after approving funding for the Parliamentary Debate Society to host a tournament and the Engineer’s Council to host an app development workshop.
Senator Counihan also reported that funding reviews had determined that catering by Sodexo for student organizations had almost doubled in cost over the course of a year. He gave an example of an event hosted by the College Democrats where, for the same event and food, the cost went from $392 last year to $754 this year, and increase of over 90%.
“It’s something we’re looking into,” Senator Counihan promised the other senators.
The Senate welcomed a new member during the session, electing Vinu Varghese as the graduate senator from the School of Business. In his appeal for support, Varghese said he was interested in increasing networking between student organizations, as well as between undergraduate and graduate students.
The Senate will have its final meeting before the new calendar year on December 2, the Monday immediately following Thanksgiving break.