Committee elections, bill debates dominate Wednesday's Senate

    Correction appended; please see below.

    In a marathon session Wednesday that ran well past its 10:30 p.m. room reservation, ASG voted for committee members and debated several bills affecting senators.

    Elections for various positions took up a majority of the second-to-last meeting of the school year. Senators elected six new account executives for the Student Activities Finance Committee. For non-senator positions, winners included Weinberg freshman Serene Darwish, Weinberg sophomores Amrit Kanesa-Thasan and Bill Prager and McCormick junior Bilal Shahabuddin. The two senator positions were acquired by Weinberg junior Harsh Shah and Weinberg sophomore Kevin Yao.

    After initial committee updates, senators heard from Dona Cordero, the recently appointed assistant provost for diversity and inclusion. She spoke about various efforts with recently formed working groups that will include faculty, administrators and students. They will take into consideration the information released in the university’s “White Paper” when planning future efforts to increase inclusion on campus.

    Three of Wednesday’s proposed bills would directly affect Senate members. Vice President of Services David Harris proposed a bill to punish senators with disciplinary sanctions if they do not attend meetings where student group funding is allocated, citing that senators were underrepresented in the recent funding decisions held.

    “There are few things you guys do that are more important than funding,” Harris said, adding that A-status groups received $1.4 million for next year. “Come on, guys!”

    After voting down a proposal to postpone the vote, the bill was killed in a 12 to 13 vote, with two abstaining.

    They also voted down a transparency bill that would force potential ASG presidential candidates to announce their interest in pursuing candidacy before meeting with any student groups or administrators. Those in favor said it would bring transparency, with supporters including Vice President Brad Stewart and previous vice presidential candidate Steven Monacelli.

    A bill that would shorten the presidential campaign from 10 days to seven also failed.

    In other ASG News:

    A measure by NU’s Conflict-Free Coalition to urge the administration to move toward conflict-mineral-free technology garnered unanimous support. The group supports efforts to stop rape and murder in the Democratic Republic of Congo over highly coveted minerals that are used in almost all modern technology devices.

    Senators voted in favor of a bill proposed by Senator Paul Koscumb supporting more gender-neutral bathrooms on campus.

    ASG also voted to create a position called associate vice president for sustainability and a six-member working group on “alcohol policy and culture.” The working group will consider the alcohol policies for Greek life and all forms of on-campus housing. ASG immediately voted for two representatives in the working group, electing Weinberg sophomores Tori Zuzelo and Alex Matelski. Each of the remaining representatives will be appointed by RHA, RCB, IFC and PHA, according to an email from ASG Vice President Brad Stwart.

    Correction, May 24, 11:15 p.m.: The original version of this article stated that the rest of the working group on alcohol policy and culture created at Wednesday’s meeting would be elected by the Senate at a following meeting; this was incorrect. They will be appointed by University Greek- and housing-associated groups. It also stated the associate vice president for sustainability created at Wednesday’s meeting would work “within Senate,” when he or she will in fact report to the Student Life Vice President, and that President Victor Shao supported the transparency bill the Senate voted down. Shao in fact abstained from conversation on the bill.


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