University officials are facing backlash from students after the GW Hatchet reported that the University had spent roughly $500,000 on the inauguration of The George Washington University President Thomas LeBlanc. According to Student Association Finance Committee Vice-Chairman Will Raderman, he and other senators are planning on proposing a resolution calling on GW administration to “utilize University funds in more prudent and productive ways in the future.” The measure passed unanimously through the finance committee.
The celebrations included a student brunch with LeBlanc at the Mount Vernon campus, a formal ceremony in the Charles E. Smith Center where over a hundred universities from around the world sent representatives, an academic showcase in the Science and Engineering Hall, a formal dinner at the Library of Congress, an interview with School of Media and Public Affairs director Frank Sesno, and a faculty open house at the President’s residence on F Street.
Raderman expressed major displeasure with the reported number, calling the spending “shortsighted.” He said, “I’m not alone in saying that I was aggravated when hearing what was spent. I’ve discussed the reported cost extensively with a number of other students and everyone I’ve talked to is displeased with the figure.”
Raderman continued, saying that this was especially troubling since GW has asked central departments to cut their budgets by 3 to 5 percent and has even mandated additional cuts to the Music and Women’s Studies departments due to financial issues. He suggested that this money could have been used to help those departments, saying, “At least a sizeable portion of the funds that went to spending on the Inauguration could have gone to departmental programs and initiatives that would benefit students more substantially than a few days celebratory events.”
Undergraduate Senator-at-Large Logan Malik echoed the concerns raised by Raderman, saying that it was “totally f—– up if the university did indeed use that much money given the recent cuts that they made to academic departments such as the Music and Women’s Studies departments.”
Raderman did not give a timeline on the planned resolution but the next convening of the full Student Association Senate is scheduled for November 20 at 9:00 p.m. in Marvin Center room 309.
WRGW News has reached out to the University for comment and will update this article with any updates received.
This story was updated on November 20, 2017 to reflect the fact that the Student Association Finance Committee unanimously passed the resolution.