SG passes House of Reps. to foster, hear student body voice

Boston University Student Government members passed a proposal adding a House of Representatives consisting of representatives from student groups across campus to its current structure at Monday’s senate meeting.

Brownstone Residence Hall Association President Marc Salerno, who created the proposal, said the House will allow students who are not already represented in the senate to have their voices heard.

“If it is implemented properly, it’s the biggest outreach program you could possibly ask for,” Salerno, a College of Arts and Sciences sophomore, said. “It gets everybody involved that can be involved.”

The proposed House of Representatives will be made up of students from student groups recognized by the Student Activities Office. In addition, the proposal also added four additional members to the current Executive Board.

Under the new plan, SG’s executive board must include the SG Senate Chair, the SG Speaker of the House, the College Government Chair, the President of the Overarching Executive Counsel and the Residence Hall Association Overarching Executive Counsel.

Salerno said his plan will legitimize SG by fostering student support and by creating a forum for dialogue about issues important to students across BU’s campus.

“Everybody should be able to discuss their issues, because that’s what Student Government is about,” Salerno said. “It’s about being the funnel for all the voices, not just a select few.”

SG Executive Vice President Lauren LaVelle said it will take time to figure out the logistics of the new plan.

“The concept is a good idea,” LaVelle, a School of Management junior, said. “It’s going to take a lot of work and dedication to implement this efficiently and effectively.”

SG also passed a proposal Monday night, originally presented by DivestBU during an SG meeting on April 8, recommending that BU officials no longer invest the endowment in fossil fuel companies.

The proposal stated that SG recommends the BU Committee on Socially Responsible Investments, once chartered, should consider a policy that would require BU to relinquish all its investments in a list of select fossil fuel companies within the next five years.

DivestBU member Colby Smith said passing the proposal is an important step for the BU community as it demands the university take steps toward helping stop climate change.

“This is a way for students, or anyone, really, to take power back and make a change in this issue,” Smith, a College of Engineering junior, said. “We’ve seen for a very long time that it’s happening and that it’s causing problems, but very little has been done about it.”

DivestBU hopes to work to counter climate change and avoid its harmful effects in the future, Smith said.

“By the time that time that we are grown up and having children, this climate change will be in full sway and affect us the most,” she said. “This is what we’re going to have to deal with, but the cause of this problem is happening right now.”

SG President Aditya Rudra, who will serve on the Committee on Socially Responsible Investments if the committee is chartered, said he looks forward to introducing the proposal.

“We tried to shape this resolution in such a way that our student representatives … will be able to bring the resolution [to administrators] and say that we believe students would like to have a conversation about our investment in fossil fuels,” Rudra, an SMG junior, said.

SG spokesman and CAS freshman Saurabh Mahajan announced during the meeting that SG’s holiday bus service program will not be extended for the summer. As an alternative, SG voted to allocate $2,500 to its Advocacy Committee for three separate proposals during the final few weeks of the semester.

While Mahajan said the committee will meet Wednesday to reach an official decision, current ideas include providing free Starbucks coffee, bringing in professionals from Mass Mobile Massage to give students free massages and paying writing tutors to work with students in residence halls.

“As a service to the student body, during finals period we’re going to provide coffee and massages and tutoring to help bring those comforts and those resources to students in effort to make finals period more livable,” LaVelle said. “It’s our giving back to the students.”

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