Campus, News

BU StuGov supports Grad Student Union, hears cabinet updates

Student Government
The Boston University Student Government bulletin board. Stugov members presented a recommendation to the allocation of the Community Service Fee. HAIYI BI/DFP STAFF

Boston University Student Government heard cabinet updates and endorsed the Boston University Graduate Student Union in a meeting Monday night.

After a presentation explaining a possible upcoming constitutional change, cabinet leaders shared their summer updates.

This was the first presentation of the Sexual Assault Prevention department, which began meeting this summer after the election of e-board slate Fight to BU.

Vice President and College of Arts and Sciences junior Navya Kotturu said the executive board spent the summer meeting with other sexual assault prevention groups on campus, including It’s On Us and 16K, as a part of getting the department started.

Environmental Affairs Director and CAS sophomore Delaney Foster shared plans to get zero-waste laundry detergent sheets on campus.

“The end goal is to get low-cost zero-waste laundry detergent sheets for as many students as possible,” Foster said. “We’re currently partnering with the Newbury Center, BU Sustainability and the Environmental Student Organization in order to accomplish this and the goal is to hopefully have a pile on campus either semester or in the next year.”

Other cabinet directors shared plans for a FAFSA workshop, a mutual aid drive for feminine hygiene products with the Brazilian Women’s Group in Brighton, and the creation of a monthly newsletter to promote cultural events.

Alex Brumfield, Social Advocacy Director and junior in CAS, introduced a resolution supporting the Boston University Graduate Students Union, or BUGWU.

“BUGWU advocates for a living wage, comprehensive health coverage, international student rights, workload protections, and housing justice for 3,000 graduate workers at BU,” according to the resolution.

Graduate students first began to organize into a union in 2016, with their most current campaign in 2020 advocating for a COVID-19 safe workplace.

Senator Adam Shamsi, a CAS junior, said BU actively discourages grad students from joining a union.

“It’s not what you would think, for a progressive institution to act like, but they have been trying to stop this from happening and stop the grad students from organizing,” Shamsi said.

Senator and CAS junior Jessica Sullivan said her research overhead at work was told to “offload tasks onto a higher up” after working over 40 hours a week.

“The deans are also aware of how bad the policy is in place,” she said.

Brumfield’s resolution outlined the publication of a statement supporting BUGWU sent out to all undergraduate students and regular contact between the union and StuGov.

“There is a lot that we as undergraduate students can do to support considering the fact that graduate students play such a huge role in our educations,” he said. “And let’s be real, if we didn’t have grad students as our TAs, I don’t know what the heck we would do.”

Later in the meeting, CAS senior Brook Sellitti was confirmed as the first Sexual Assault Prevention Director.

The resolution passed with 37 votes.


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