SG debates allocating CGSA senate seat

The Student Government Senate tabled a proposal at its Monday meeting to allocate an additional senate seat for the Center for Gender, Sexuality and Activism.

SG Director of the Department of Recruitment Chris Addis said during the proposal adding a senate seat to represent CGSA is necessary to make the SG Senate more inclusive.

“A Senator from the Center would increase exposure and presence on campus [and] bring a different perspective and awareness,” Addis said during the proposal.

Adding a CGSA seat to the senate would promote social mobility and acceptance in the BU community, said College of Arts and Sciences sophomore Bridget Daley during the proposal.

“There should be a representative from each corner of the student body,” Daley said. “The CGSA represents a larger part of the student body that hopes to evoke social change in this community. These are the students in your residence halls, your roommates, these are your friends … and these people deserve a voice.”

Some attendees raised concerns about whether giving the CGSA a senate seat would open the doors for any student organization to gain a seat, potentially leading to overcrowding of the Senate.

Assistant Dean of Students John Battaglino, who spoke at the meeting, said SG must remain vigilant of its responsibility to represent the diverse opinions of the BU community.

“It’s easy to be selected to serve on a committee,” Battaglino said. “But do you truly go back to the Boston University community and gather information so that when you come to a meeting, you aren’t just representing one person’s opinion?”

Addis said the additional senate seat would be in accordance with Battaglino’s encouragement for SG to represent students from every corner of BU.

“We want to open the door,” Addis said. “We want to be inclusive, powerful, representative and diverse.”

Richa Kaul, SG executive vice president, said allowing more student groups to be represented in senate would likely not resulting in a flooding of the SG Senate, but would allow the most passionate groups to have a voice by attending meetings.

“I challenge the thought that it’s a problem that we open the door for more groups to come in,” Kaul, a CAS sophomore, said. “I don’t think it’s a problem at all. In fact, I encourage it. If that’s the way that you find yourself, that’s what you feel best advocates for you, then that’s a good avenue to explore.”

SG elected to table the motion in order for the Senate to analyze its criteria for adding new seats.

CAS Sophomore Class President Tyler Fields said the criteria for gaining a Senate seat are to be an overarching body that represents a large constituency.

“Currently, there is no specific avenue for student groups such as [CGSA] to have a Senate seat,” Fields, a College of Arts and Sciences sophomore, said. “What we need to do now is move toward … better criteria of who we give Senate seats to.”

BU Vice President of Information Services & Technology Tracey Schroeder also addressed the department’s spending plan in upcoming years.

The main focuses of the department will be improving classroom technology, social networking in an academic context and updating the student information services used to register for classes, among other things, Schroeder said. The goals of the IST department are reflective of feedback by students, staff and faculty.

“The community will provide the guidance for what is most important,” Schroder said. “Ultimately, I am accountable for deciding what I propose in a budget, but when I do that, I do it transparently.”

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