The Boston University Student Government passed a proposal at its final meeting of the semester Monday evening that supports an existing petition to make BU a “sanctuary campus.”
The SG Cabinet brought forward the proposal, which includes a letter to President Robert Brown’s office, urging him to act on the statements he made in his Nov. 10 letter to the BU community.
The proposal cited Brown’s letter, which called on the BU community to “adhere to enduring principles that have defined our community for 150 years: respect for all people and their right to free expression, adherence to the rule of law, and respect for reasoned arguments and scientific findings.”
SG Vice President of Internal Affairs Jane Dimnwaobi introduced the proposal.
“I think it’s important for Student Government to take a stand, because in our preamble, it does state that we are here to exercise our right to be representative of students,” she said. “It is also our responsibility, as Student Government, to legitimize [the petition] institutionally.”
The petition outlined demands for the administration, one of which asks the university to exercise its power to withhold support for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
As of Monday night, the petition had been signed by 1,963 BU affiliates, Dimnwaobi said. She said SG should pass the proposal that supports the petition and ensure that BU stands on the right side of history in this movement.
The proposal passed with 89 percent voting “yea” and 11 percent nay.
Alexander Golob, a 2016 graduate from the College of Fine Arts, and CAS Sen. Anushka Pinto also proposed to spend $1,500 on planning and providing outreach for a mural to be painted on the blank side of the Kenmore Classroom Building.
Golob’s plan would include two phases, the first of which would be supported by the $1,500 that SG provides. The first phase, taking place from December 2016 to May 2017, would consist of three rounds of meetings with community members to increase awareness and come up with ideas for what will be painted.
The second phase of the project is scheduled to take place from May 2017 to September 2017. The plan created during the first phase would be brought to the BU administration and the City of Boston, which are expected to devote $15,000 to $20,000 toward the creation of the project, Golob said.
College of Engineering Sen. Piergiacomo Cacciamani introduced an amendment to the proposal that would require SG’s name to be present on the mural.
The proposal and amendment passed with 90 percent yea’s and 10 percent nays.
After the meeting, members of SG reflected on the progress of the semester and expressed their hopes for the next semester.
SG Executive Board President Jake Brewer said the Senate didn’t follow through on everything he wanted it to.
“To tell you the truth, I’m disappointed more didn’t happen with the constitution, but I’m glad they supported arts initiatives,” said Brewer, a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Brewer also had an update on the state of the Cabinet’s constitutional reform plans, saying more will get done next semester. At the first meeting of the second semester, the E-Board plans to propose an amendment for an ad campaign for their reform, Brewer said.
SG Senate Chair Dan Collins said he was satisfied with the accomplishments of the Senate this semester, specifically the rules committee.
“One of my biggest qualms coming to the Student Government this year was just so few people know what it is and what we do,” said Collins, a junior in CAS. “And so the more things we can do … for the student body is great. So I’m incredibly happy with both of these proposals.”
SG Vice President of Finance Justin Flynn said he hopes to see SG use more of its funds next semester.
“I think the nature of people in SG is to be kind of frugal, but as treasurer, I’m kind of encouraging them to use as much money as we can because we always have a lot leftover, and that’s not the way it should be,” said Flynn, a junior in the Questrom School of Business.
ENG Sen. Nehemiah Dureus said while the semester was generally effective, he thinks the Senate focused too much on internal issues such as constitution reform.
“We focused a little too much on internal affairs, but we’re starting our transition to help the student body especially with the mural on campus,” Dureus, a sophomore, said.
Pinto said she thinks the semester has been successful.
“We’ve had a decent amount of proposals come through and amendments,” Pinto, a senior, said. “We have to steer away from the drama of last year, but we have great things to look forward to.”