Boston University Student Government senate voted Monday to dissolve its House of Representatives in favor of a new SG branch that will aim to bring more members of the BU student body together to discuss strengthening community on campus.
“The needs that need to be met from students are not the needs that we are currently meeting with the House [of Representatives],” said SG Executive Vice President Richa Kaul while presenting the proposal. “We want to replace it with something that does meet the needs of students.”
The new SG branch, entitled the BU Student Think Tank, aims to be the permanent community-organizing branch of student government. It will gather student leaders to foster community at BU through open conversation, healthy compromise and innovative collaboration, said Kaul, a College of Arts and Sciences sophomore.
School of Education senate representative Sandra Soto, a member of the committee that presented the Think Tank proposal, said the SG House of Representatives was never brought to fruition.
“There haven’t been House of Representatives meetings. There are currently no representatives,” said Soto, an SED sophomore. “We are using all of the knowledge we gained from the past year of trying to make this work and get it started to make sure that we don’t make the same mistakes.”
Soto said whereas the SG House had been open only to student group leaders, the Think Tank will allow for increased participation among students who may not be hold official titles at the school but are interested in bolstering a sense of community on campus.
“It would be a wider range of BU students, so it would engage the entire community rather than that specified group,” Soto said. “The Think Tank would be responsible for doing the research in between the [senate] meetings to ensure that the issues that are brought up can actually be solved together.”
The senate also voted to fund an initiative that will provide recycling bins on each residential floor of Warren Towers.
“Increasing access to recycling is really important,” said Director of Environmental Affairs Danielle Elefritz. “There are students on every floor who are interested in recycling, but they’re not going to take the time to go down to the fourth floor, or they just don’t know what resources are available to them.”
The $5,140 allocated by SG to the Department of Environmental Affairs will allow them to purchase 45-gallon recycling bins that are expected to be available to students by the beginning of the fall semester, said Elefritz, a junior in CAS and the College of Communication.
“Hopefully by the spring or by next year, we’ll have them everywhere on campus,” she said.
Increasing access to recycling in Warren Towers could divert more than 24,000 pounds of waste from landfills per year, Elefritz said.
“We’re hoping that it will also create discussion and encourage recycling around campus as well as awareness,” Elefritz said.
The senate also provided $2,888 for the purchase of musical equipment to create a recording studio that will be available to BU students next semester.
“There are a lot of musicians on campus, and currently there are no real resources for them to record their music,” said School of Management Senator Courtney Bold. “It requires a lot of expensive equipment that most students aren’t going to use more than a few times.”
The studio, called the Music Network Jam Room, will be located on the second floor of the George Sherman Union in the Student Activities Office, said Bold, an SMG sophomore.
Students will be able to reserve one-hour sessions, and musical groups will be able to reserve two-hour sessions through the Music Network Jam Room Facebook page, Bold said.
“Our money is supposed to support student initiatives that benefit the student population,” she said. “This is definitely a worthy cause that does benefit a large portion of them.”