ASG Senate rejected a resolution that sought to have the student government “refrain from establishing an official opinion” on “partisan and political matters” not directly related to Northwestern on Wednesday night.
The resolution, authored by College Republicans President Dane Stier, survived two separate motions to table the legislation first for three weeks and then indefinitely, but was eventually blocked altogether.
There was some initial confusion on the floor regarding the definition of a resolution, which Brad Stewart, ASG executive vice president, finally clarified as binding but would not bind ASG to any explicit action.
“I believe this bill does absolutely nothing,” Weinberg senior Ian Coley said. “It’s very circular. By passing a resolution that we hold ourselves to a certain standard, it essentially does nothing. I think that it is a very weak piece of legislation.”
Weinberg junior Mike Morgan also vocally opposed the resolution, saying, “It’s so ambiguous about its idea and its scope, passing this could be controversial for future presidents and future senates.”
The Senate also passed a resolution supporting President Obama’s gun control agenda unveiled last week. An amendment to the resolution struck language offering support for “the President’s issuance of executive orders regarding improved gun regulations,” instead modifying the resolution to say that the Northwestern student body “supports improved gun regulations.”
In a 12-16-7 vote, the Senate blocked a second amendment that would have changed the resolution to say ASG supports “improved gun regulations” rather than “the Northwestern student body.”
Later, in debate on the resolution itself with approved amendments, Weinberg sophomore Rebecca Schieber argued the legislation was weak because it supported Congress in doing “what you are supposed to be doing and what you are already doing.”
“It’s kind of like the ‘you participated’ award you get when you are really bad at basketball,” Schieber said.
The Senate then passed legislation creating an ad-hoc committee on gun control composed of five ASG members, which wil bel “an open letter to our representatives in the United States government to work together to make bipartisan movement on gun control.”
Senate also passed another resolution supporting Northwestern’s complete financial divestment from the coal industry, which was tabled last week so senators could discuss it with their constituents.
Editor's note, Thurs. Jan. 31 at 3:42 p.m.: This article originally stated that the ad-hoc committee will “compose an open letter to Congress urging them to work with the Executive branch to make bipartisan movement on gun control.” North by Northwestern thanks Ian Coley for this correction.