Campus, News

StuGov votes on constitutional amendments following weeks of debate

Boston University student government discusses senate amending bill 002 in a monday senate meeting
Boston University Student Government voted on constitutional amendments and discussed a potential Representation Oversight Committee in its Monday meeting. HANNAH YOSHINAGA/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

After weeks of discussion, Boston University Student Government voted Monday on constitutional amendments that would give students a StuGov Bill of Rights and Kilachand Honors College students representation in the Senate.

Last week, College of Arts and Sciences junior Sen. Hessann Farooqi and Associate Justices Alex Durand, a senior in the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, and CAS junior Daniel Daponte introduced constitutional amendments.

These proposed amendments would reduce the 22-page StuGov constitution to nine pages through simplification and clarification, as well add a Students’ Bill of Rights.

Senators previously stated they were confused about the Students’ Bill of Rights in the amended constitution, specifically about how it would affect individual college governments.

“This does not impact, in any way, what college governments are able to do,” Farooqi said. “Those are independent organizations for the purpose of this constitution, except as it pertains to college governments, appointing senators to the BU student government.”

The amendment passed with 37 votes in the affirmative out of 40 senators present.

The meeting continued, picking up a previously discussed amendment that would add a definition for a college to the constitution.

Representatives from KHC sought an amendment that defines a college as “any undergraduate unit at Boston University that (1) a student must apply to before matriculation ; (2) confers or jointly confers an undergraduate degree; and (3) has its own specified curriculum and program requirements.”

This definition would grant KHC one Senate seat if the amendment passed.

Sen. Maha Noor, a College of Engineering freshman, questioned whether KHC could run as an At-large party, which are voted on by the overall student body and receive a cumulative 10 senate seats.

Kilachand Leadership Advisory Board representative and CAS senior Noelle Wojciechowski said this was impractical given the relatively small size of KHC compared to other colleges and added they did not want to take representation away from other At-large parties.

“We’re a very small population on campus compared to a lot of other special interest groups,” Wojciechowski said. “Even if everyone in KHC voted, there’s no guarantee that we would actually win a seat, and again, it would be year to year.”

Sen. Jonmichael Aracena, a CAS senior, said he was opposed to the amendment because he didn’t see the need for it.

“My issue with this bill is that we’ve failed to prove that Kilachand falls under the same definitions that can be applied to the other colleges that we’ve mentioned, like CAS,” Aracena said. “I have failed to see that Kilachand doesn’t have representation.”

ENG junior Sen. Cassidy Balboa said she did not “agree with” the confrontational way the bill was discussed, citing a “rude” comment directed toward the At-large party, the Johnmichael Party.

KLAB Rep. Francesca Davy-Falconi, a CAS senior, also discussed issues she had with the way the discussion was handled by StuGov members.

“We’ve been called names, we’ve been made into memes,” Davy-Falconi said. “I think that’s problematic, right? That’s not what any of us are here to do.”

The bill failed with 3 abstentions and 11 votes in the affirmative out of 41 present.

Although the amendment was not passed, it provoked a discussion of a potential new committee: the Representation Oversight Committee, introduced by CAS juniors Sen. Jessica Zheng and At-large Sen. Samantha Casas.

“Representation isn’t easy,” Zheng said. “Clearly we know this. This is probably week three that we’ve been talking about it. This has been like four years or three years or something that KLAB has been talking about it. So, representation is clearly a big issue.”

She added that the new Center for Computing and Data Sciences building may pose a need for representation, as well as the possibility of Pardee becoming an official college.

The ROC would seek “to evaluate and resolve issues surrounding how Boston University Student Government represents student groups as well as aiding interested student groups through the process of gaining representation in Boston University Student Government,” according to the presentation .

The ROC can be voted on next week.

Abbigale Shi, editorial page editor of The Daily Free Press, is a Student Government Environmental Affairs cabinet staffer. She was not involved in the editing of this article.

Juncheng Quan, staff writer of The Daily Free Press, is a Student Government CAS Senator. He was not involved in the editing or reporting of this article.

Ilana Keusch, staff writer of The Daily Free Press, is a Student Government Associate Justice. She was not involved in the editing or reporting of this article.

 

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