Spencer Perry - for executive vice president
by Zach Bernsten | Hatchet Reporter & Photo by Katie Causey | Hatchet Staff Photographer
Major: Economics and political science
Hometown: Berkeley, Calif.
Clubs/Activities: Voices for Choices, Student Global AIDS Campaign, College Democrats, Allied in Pride, and Interfraternity Council
Previous SA experience: Legislative aide, 2013-2014; vice president of judicial and legislative affairs.
If you didn't go to GW, where you would be going to school? “Northwestern University, if I had gotten the same financial aid package.”
Favorite monument: Tie between the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery
Captain Cookie order: “The specials, like the pumpkin cookie with nutmeg ice cream in the fall.”
Season three of "House of Cards" or "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt": “I don’t know if I could pick a favorite. I like them both.”
Black and blue or white and gold: White and gold
Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks: “Starbucks, because I like their bagels. But it really depends on what’s on my way to class.”
Android or iPhone: iPhone
Dream Commencement speaker: Malala Yousafzai
Sophomore Spencer Perry worked for a counseling hotline in high school, speaking directly to individuals who were suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts, and offering them help.
Now, Perry is bringing his experience as an activist to his executive vice president campaign. He said that has encouraged him to focus on sexual assault prevention and mental health awareness in his platform.
Perry said he hopes to collaborate with the University’s Title IX office and Students Against Sexual Assault to spread awareness and hold seminars about properly responding to sexual assault. He has also advocated for creating a sexual assault prevention training program for Colonial Inauguration and putting resources for peer support on the backs of every GWorld card on campus. He touted his ability to lead the implementation of the peer support hotline.
“When I saw the statistics about how far behind we are at combatting sexual assault on campus, I see a direct correlation with things that deal with mental health and peer support, things I’ve worked on in the past,” Perry said. “When I saw these statistics, I knew that meant that GW’s mental health is at risk, GW’s physical health is at risk, and frankly GW’s women are at risk. And that’s a big problem.”
The University released results from a sexual violence survey in January, which found that about half of undergraduate students surveyed did not know if GW would respond well to a sexual violence report. About 80 percent of students said they do not know how to contact a Title IX coordinator or the Sexual Assault Response Consultative team, a group of staff members trained to provide information to survivors.
Among his other goals are ensuring off-campus housing rights, creating a new alcohol amnesty program and promoting an inclusive environment on campus.
In August 2013, the University announced plans to expand the jurisdiction of University Police Department officers to include off-campus student housing. GW’s police force came under fire in April 2013 after officers were found to have operated outside their jurisdiction. Officials have not recently released updated information about that plan.
But Perry said because UPD officers are not trained at the same level as officers from the Metropolitan Police Department, they should not be allowed to make rounds off campus. He said he would work with Georgetown and American universities, as well as the local advisory group the West End and Foggy Bottom Advisory Commission, to protect student rights off campus.
Perry said he also wants to expand the University’s current alcohol amnesty policies to give students amnesty after every incident where they are transported by EMeRG. Students currently get amnesty for the first incident, but he said that many students are transported by EMeRG before their sophomore year, putting themselves at risk of expulsion or suspension in the future.
The University revamped its alcohol policies in 2011 so most first-time offenses would lead to a peer-to-peer meeting and administrative record instead of impacting a student’s disciplinary record.
“In my conversations with people in [the Office of] Student Rights and Responsibilities, as well as CADE, they know this policy is counterproductive too, and they’re willing to move forward by making sure that we expand that policy to be more inclusive and more productive of EMeRG’s mission,” Perry said.