ASG heard a resolution to rescind Karl Eikenberry’s appointment as Executive Director of the Buffett Institute for Global Studies before voting on a new speaker and a new parliamentarian for the senate.
Neha Reddy, a Weinberg senior, and Matt Herndon, a SESP junior, spoke briefly about their resolution before answering questions. The measure questions Eikenberry’s intellectual credentials and qualifications for the post.
“He does not have the credentials that similar [candidates] would have,” Herndon said. “It’s quite a bit of responsibility and we don't think that somebody with two master’s degrees would be qualified.”
Reddy and Herndon also raised concerns about Eikenberry’s military background, stating that Eikenberry had suggested the Buffett Institute could help “strengthen business ties in foreign countries and the U.S. military in foreign countries.”
“We are just concerned that these strong ties to the military can affect the integrity of the mission of Buffett,” Reddy said. “Now you have someone as head of the institution that has obviously interacted with the military and many students are not comfortable with the military and its imperialistic agendas.”
The bill states that the Buffett Institute’s mission is to support “humanities and social sciences engaging in global research questions without factor to U.S. business military, and national foreign policy priorities.”
Professor Jorge Coronado, a faculty member from the department of Spanish and Portuguese, joined the students in voicing concerns about Eikenberry. He helped present a similar resolution in the faculty senate in early March.
“I’m here to inform you and support [you] and I think that’s really important because the appointment impacts the students at Northwestern as much as it does anybody else,” Coronado said. “I would say that it’s important for students to speak up because your voice has a huge impact on the university, on its leadership, on your professors.”
Reddy and Herndon said that the resolution demonstrated support for the more than 60 faculty members who signed a letter asking Northwestern not to appoint Eikenberry to the position.
Following the presentation, Weinberg sophomores Nehaarika Mulukutla and Jake Rothstein and SESP sophomore Joshua O’Neil gave speeches campaigning for speaker of the senate. Mulukutla won the election.
“As speaker, it’s important to have a role as a facilitator,” Mulukutla said. “As someone who is constantly looking at both sides of an issue and really critically analyzing the issues that are presented to me, I believe I would be a really great facilitator ... making sure that everyone is having their voice heard, but also not to allow that voice to hurt other people.”
Medill sophomore Shelby Reitman also beat Keaton Tatooles, a Weinberg sophomore, in the election for ASG’s parliamentarian. Both Mulukutla and Reitman will be sworn into their positions at the next ASG meeting.