Campus, News

Boston University Student Government Approves open letter, report for Presidential Search Committee

Boston University Student Government endorsed multiple proposals to improve student representation and life on campus in a meeting Monday night.

The first proposal concerning student representation was an open letter to the presidential search committee, which currently does not include undergraduate student representation.

The Boston University Student Government bulletin board. On Monday night, the BU StuGov addressed proposals to improve representation and life for students, among other matters. HAIYI BI/DFP STAFF

“We don’t really hold the cards in this situation,” President Dhruv Kapadia, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences, said. “The questions that they’ve asked and the qualities they’ve looked for are administrative. It’s all from an admin perspective … but this letter hopefully fills the gap.”

The letter included the acronym START, which stands for Student Focused, Student Facing, Transparency and Trust, Allyship to Marginalized Communities, Responsibility to Community, and Taking Action, as guidelines for what students want to see from the new University president.

Each letter had various action items associated with it that StuGov hopes the prospective president would complete, including open listening sessions, a once-a-semester newsletter about actions they had taken, a zero-tolerance hate speech policy for future politicized events and working with the Graduate Workers’ Union, among other items.

The open letter was endorsed with 41 out of 43 votes.

A presentation from the BU Task Force of LGBTQIA+ Students followed, requesting StuGov’s endorsement for their final report on LGBTQIA+ student life and resources.

The 126 page report was created through anonymous survey responses from BU students and comparisons to 46 peer institutions.

In the criteria used, which included a professionally staffed, student inclusive LGBTQIA+ resource center, a dedicated centralized website with resources for LGBTQIA+ students, and a standing LGBTQIA+ advisory committee, BU ranked last of the peer institutions.

“We want our report to serve as a tangible benchmark so that future students can look at what we did, and they can say what has changed back then (and) what still needs to be done,” Michael Arellano, a leader of the task force and a CAS senior, said.

Arellano added that the assistant vice president and assistant secretary of the board of University Office of Trustees reached out to the task force team to implement their report into the presidential search process.

“Even if a student can’t physically be in the room to help in this hiring process,” Arellano said, “something from the student activism, from the student community … is being used as a reference point in that room,”

StuGov endorsed the report with 40 votes.

The meeting continued with a request for endorsement and funding from the Unity and Social Quality Initiative to promote BU’s reviews on RateMyDorm, which is a website that allows students to anonymously rate and review their dorms, to make choosing a room easier for incoming and current students.

BU’s RateMyDorm page currently has more than 100 ratings and roughly 30 comments, according to USQI representative Dakota Jackson. USQI requested $568 for merchandise so they could better promote RateMyDorm through stickers and T-shirts.

StuGov endorsed the endorsement with 41 votes.

“We’re having a full tabling event with a bunch of stickers, candies, maybe some donuts,” Jackson said. “Just getting students (and telling them) ‘hey, rate your dorm.’”

The funding request was approved with 42 votes.

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