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by David Marquis (dmarquis@gwu.edu)

Four undergraduate students standing alone on stage transformed my experience and helped refocus my career path. This year, the Association of College Unions International (ACUI) chose to end a day of the annual conference with student stories and how the Union impacted them.

There were several thought provoking speakers during the conference, such as Soul Pancake CEO Shabnam Mogharabi and NPR host Celeste Headlee. However, none brought so many in the audience on a whirlwind trip of emotion as the “Student Voices Panel.” I admittedly was convinced prior to the session that I knew what I was signing up for - students sharing a bit of their experience - and I was not expecting to be impressed. After all, I had seen student panels before, and while I always found them somewhat interesting, I felt they quickly descend into specific questions about who the students are as individuals or generalizations about the identities the students hold. Instead, this time, when the lights went down, we witnessed a TED-style story told by each of the four students from the stage. ...continue reading "The Impact of a Student Union"

by David Marquis (dmarquis@gwu.edu)

After a major renovation incorporating and expanding three existing buildings, GW opened District House in August 2016. District House is a 900-bed residence hall that offers communal spaces and retail dining on its lower two levels. The lower two levels of student space and retail dining are open to the public and managed by the Center for Student Engagement. The first year managing the District House communal space, which includes bookable conference rooms, modular furniture, a dance studio, a bike storage room, and a student food pantry, was by all accounts a success. The number of bookings, the amount of time the spaces were in use, the number of individuals and organizations impacted, and the caliber of experience offered to clients all show positive outcomes upon review. ...continue reading "District Downstairs Year One Usage"

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