Welcoming old and new members, ASG kicked off the school year’s first official Senate meeting last night. Senate members were given the opportunity to voice their goals for ASG and what they hope to accomplish and change as a part of Senate this year.
There needs to be an effort for the Senate to form closer connections with the student body and improve communication in an effort to “demystify Senate,” said member Jake Rothstien, a Communication sophomore. He emphasized community outreach. “They should understand what we’re doing and why we’re doing it.”
This year, ASG Senate and Executive members are required to participate in training sessions focusing on social inequality in relation to identity, power and privilege, led by Michele Enos, the assistant director for Social Justice Education, and Campus Inclusion and Community. These trainings are aimed to bring the most support to “counter narratives, social justice education and people that have traditionally been oppressed on this campus,” according to Matt Herndon, vice president for Accessibility and Inclusion.
Others touched upon the development of comradery and collaboration among Senate members and building a stronger community within ASG. “I think it’s important that everyone has a positive attitude,” said Joji Syed, vice president for Community Relations. “It is a very rewarding experience and you do learn a lot.”
Members voiced their opinions on several aspects of Northwestern community, including emphases on further promoting core values of sustainability on campus, such as limiting or banning the flyers that cover the sidewalks of campus or eliminating plastic water bottles.
“I think a big theme is community integrating more with the larger Northwestern community and building community among ourselves,” said Parliamentarian Matt Clarkston. “Hopefully we will all keep this in mind moving forward.”
New Senate members were welcomed and sworn in by Clarkston, the temporary replacement for Speaker of the Senate until the new Speaker is elected next week. He encouraged members to learn more about the role of Speaker and to consider the position for the remainder of the term through winter quarter.
Beginning of the general order addressed the process of legislation and the logistics of how legislation is proposed and then passed within Senate. Clarkston explained that any student can author legislation as long as the piece is sponsored by a senator. “We don’t want people to be intimidated to write legislations,” Clarkston said. “You should feel very much empowered to do so.”