Campus, News

StuGov hears cabinet updates, endorses #BUHasAProblem demands

Boston University Student Government Office
The Boston University Student Government Office. In its Monday meeting, StuGov endorsed demands made by #BuHasAProblem regarding sexual misconduct allegations against the Kappa Sigma fraternity and heard cabinet updates. BRIAN SONG/ DFP FILE

Boston University Student Government heard cabinet updates and endorsed demands made by the #BUHasAProblem movement in a meeting Monday night.

After a brief unmoderated planning caucus among StuGov senators, Sydney Steger, the director of academic affairs and a junior in the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, shared plans at the meeting for the Student Information System — commonly known as the Student Link — update scheduled to be released before the 2022 Fall registration cycle.

“It’s not functional yet at all, but still very much in the planning process,” Steger said.

Steger added committee members have already begun outreach to faculty and advisors to look over the demo of the site.

Vivian Dai, director of social advocacy and a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, shared plans for Underrepresented Students Week, scheduled to begin on Dec. 6.

“Each day is going to be dedicated to a different group of underrepresented students,” she said. “The other groups that we’ll invite to the roundtable will be groups that are actively working against racism at BU.”

Dai said they planned to have a day each dedicated to non-white students, transfer students, the LGBTQ+ community, low-income students and disabled students, respectively.

Other updates included recapping an upcoming list of StuGov events, including the mayoral forum scheduled for Friday at 7 p.m., at which candidates Michelle Wu and Annissa Essaibi George will answer student questions in the Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground, as well as a movie night Nov. 6th at BU Central. 

The meeting continued with the hearing and endorsement of SR 005, a bill created to address the increase in accounts of sexual misconduct involving members of the largest fraternity at BU, Kappa Sigma Mu Psi.

The bill was proposed by CAS junior and CAS StuGov president Evan Teplensky, Pardee senior and senator Savannah Majarwitz and Prisha Sujin Kumar, BU StuGov senator, Campus Survivors co-founder and a senior in the Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. 

Their demands were originally written by five campus organizations and posted Thursday on the CAS StuGov Instagram page alongside an announcement of protest against Kappa Sigma on Saturday. 

The bill included the removal of the fraternity Kappa Sigma as a Student Activities Office-affiliated organization and asked BU to commit to “suspending, removing, and disbanding organizations” that have a history of sexual misconduct. 

“Overall, what we’ve noticed from protests, is that the BU community does want change, which is very reassuring,” Teplensky said. “It’s the administration that is not allowing it.”

The presenters demanded the University release a “transparent statement” to the student body, outlining policy changes and admitting responsibility for allowing students to be put in harm’s way. 

They noted Kappa Sigma has been mentioned in over a dozen of the hundreds of stories posted on the @campus.survivors Instagram account.

Majarwitz said several BU parents who observed the protests — which were conducted over Family and Friends Weekend — expressed interest in getting involved. She noted plans to start a Facebook group and mailing list specifically for parents to discuss #BUHasAProblem.

“All of these demands are survivor-informed,” Majarwitz said. “I think as organizers pushing this forward we will have to listen to that.”

The endorsement of #BUHasAProblem’s demands passed with 41 votes in the affirmative.

Nick Kolev, Standards Chair of the Board of Directors and previous Campus News Editor, is a member of Kappa Sigma. He was not involved in the editing of this story.

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