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Gender Neutral BU speak to SG about ‘zine, film

Gender Neutral BU members are working to reach out to members of the Boston University student body in order to spread awareness about gender-related issues on campus, GN BU officials told Student Government members at Monday night’s SG meeting.

“We’re currently working on a video which will include some spoken word pieces and more facts about why we need gender-neutral housing,” said Hanna Stolarski, a College of Communication sophomore and GN BU representative. “We’re also working on a ‘zine, which is a self-published magazine.”

Rea Sowan, a College of Arts and Sciences sophomore and GN BU representative, said the organization is working to urge BU’s administration to establish gender-neutral living spaces.

“Our main goal is to provide resources for students who don’t fit in the gender binary or who want resources, whoever they are, and to make sure that BU is a safe place for people of all genders,” Sowan said.

Sowan said some students feel they are forced to use the incorrect bathroom in a way that is inconsistent with how they identify with the gender binary, and some are forced to live with someone of a particular gender they do not want to live with.

Nai Collymore-Henry, a School of Management freshman and GN BU representative, said the student coalition spoke to SG in order to improve outreach.

“We want to make our presence known and we want to make sure that the senators are thinking about us as an organization because we want to spread resources to the student body,” she said. “We want to make sure that they know what gender is.”

SG officials debated and voted on two constitutional amendments during the meeting, but neither passed.

The first amendment, proposed by fall 2012 SG President Dexter McCoy, would restructure SG’s current executive board to include representatives from Residence Hall Association, Allocations Board and separate college governments.

McCoy, a COM junior, said proposed changes would help to improve communication on campus and make student leadership more visible.

The second amendment, proposed by SG Chief of Staff Richa Kaul, introduced an alternative solution that would establish a “Student Leadership Board” to meet on a biweekly basis.

Kaul, a CAS freshman, said the board would include leaders from SG, Allocations Board, the RHA’s Overarching Executive Council, College Government President’s Council, Panhellenic Council and Interfraternity Council.

Alexander Golob, a representative of student organization “!mpact,” or Impact, which aims to work against tuition hikes, also spoke about an upcoming information session titled “Is BU Worth It?”

“Everyone always complains that tuitions are so high, but they don’t know why — they don’t know whether the amount is justified, and they don’t know what they can do about it,” Golob, a College of Fine Arts freshman, said. “We’re trying to inform.”

“Is BU Worth It?” is set to take place April 3 at 6:30 p.m. in Room 117 of 590 Commonwealth Ave., Golob said. Wayne Langley, an expert in the finances of higher education, will be speaking to students in attendance.

“Wayne is really knowledgeable about the entire issue — not just the entire issue of higher education, but particularly that related to Boston-area colleges,” Golob said. “He has a lot of specific information.”

Golob said he hopes to recruit more members for the organization.

“We’re constantly looking for more people and also more student groups to endorse us,” he said.

SG Vice President Lauren LaVelle, an SMG junior, said the amount of time spent on the amendments compared to working with visiting groups was frustrating.

“We want to focus on outside groups — what can we, as a student government, do to help Gender Neutral BU, help Impact, and help these other organizations,” LaVelle said. “… As an e-board, we would like to focus more on the BU community and not spending two hours on an internal structural conversation.”

Although LaVelle said she was frustrated with the debate, she did not consider it a complete waste of time.

“Maybe, at the end of the day, there wasn’t a concrete result from it, but there’s definitely value,” she said. “If nothing else, these people are learning how to work with one another.”

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