ASG update Feb. 23: Forums soon on Senate cuts and "brothel law" amendment

    The ASG Executive Board convened Wednesday night, and in the midst of a quarter already chocked full of controversy, the stage appears to be set for yet another campus-wide debate to break out before spring arrives.

    Proposed cuts to Senate. President Claire Lew urged ASG members to spread the word about the ASG Student Representation Forum scheduled Thursday at 6 p.m. in the Lake Room at Norris. The open meeting will allow all students to enter the conversation on the proposed restructuring of ASG Senate and its election process.

    Current suggestions on restructuring would drastically reduce the number of senators in ASG and open a campus-wide election for those positions. Arguments regarding this dramatic proposal among exec board members grew tense, indicating Thursday’s open forum could incite heated debate.

    “There’s probably nothing in the proposal that all of us in the committee could fully agree on,” Lew said. “With something like this, we can’t just come up with something that makes absolutely everyone happy. We need to hear a lot of different opinions and consider all options.”

    Students joining the the Board of Trustees? ASG will present a proposal to Northwestern’s Board of Trustees requesting that a non-voting student position be added to the Board. Lew indicated that a significant number of peer institutions reserve a similar position on their respective trustee boards, and that they have had success in “adding a unique perspective in decision-making for the university.”

    ASG has been lobbying for a student board position sporadically since 1970, most recently in 2002. The request has never been outright denied, but initiative has struggled to sustain itself between administrations, Lew said. Along with several other exec board members, she will present the proposal to the Board March 11.

    Brothelgate continues. Exec members laid out plans to publicize next week’s Senate meeting, which will feature Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl and several city aldermen to discuss the “three unrelated” housing ordinance.

    In yet another twist to this ongoing saga, External Relations Vice President Ethan Merel expressed slight concern over an Illinois law that could affect the course of next week’s meeting. Under the Open Meeting Act, a town hall meeting that includes more than three aldermen automatically becomes an open session of that governing body; in this case, if more than three Evanston aldermen appear for next week’s meeting, they technically would have the authority to control the meeting and the topics discussed.

    Currently, three aldermen — Donald Wilson, Jane Grover and Delores Holmes — have confirmed attendance at next week’s meeting. Two aldermen declined, Merel said, while four have yet to respond. While he doesn’t anticipate any issues arising from this, ASG will deal with the situation over the next week should any more aldermen decide to attend. The meeting will take place March 2 in Fisk Hall 217.


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