Campus, News

Student Government talks dean of students hopes, confirms student elections commissioners

Boston University Student Government engaged in a discussion about their hopes for the incoming dean of students and confirmed Student Election Commission chairs in a meeting Monday night.

The Boston University Student Government bulletin board.
The Boston University Student Government bulletin board. Students discussed qualities and goals they would like to see in the next Dean of Students at their Monday night meeting and committee updates were heard. HAIYI BI/DFP FILE

Last semester, StuGov wrote and sent a letter to the presidential search committee highlighting the qualities they wanted the future president of BU to possess to compensate for the lack of student perspective on the committee.

This time, the letter is addressed to the future dean of students rather than the search committee, and intends to do the same thing.

BU’s website defines the dean of students as a source of programming to engage students in the community, a person to assist students in need and an overseer of student affairs.

Despite these distinctions, most senators weren’t aware of the dean’s responsibilities. A quick poll of raised hands revealed that, as Senator Jessica Sullivan said, most students find the role “sort of ambiguous.”

“Besides protecting student’s rights…I don’t really know what else he does,” Senator Jad Marrouche said.

Protecting student rights was a subject multiple senators brought up, including Senator Sergio Aguirre, who discussed negative patterns they saw in their experiences with the dean of students.

“I think a lot of times DOS will meet with student activists and hear them out, but then try and pacify them through their meetings,” Aguirre said. “Especially when we consider that a lot of the times their de-escalation and pacification efforts come in the form of saying, ‘oh, yeah, we’ll work on this and we’ll email you in a month,’ and then a month will go by and you’ll hear absolutely nothing.”

Other senators highlighted the necessity for the incoming dean to listen to the needs of marginalized students, including not only the members of the LGBTQIA+ community but also the Jewish community.

“Many students have come up to me and just like other Jewish students on campus, wanting much more of a clear cut statement, or just a representation to be possible, saying that antisemitism is not okay,” Senator Shayna Dash said.

One factor suggested in enacting these changes was fostering a more accessible dean of students.

“The DOS needs to know student’s names,” Marrouche said. “A DOS that really wants to be involved should attend big campus events.”

A group of senators said they will be writing the letter to the new dean after hearing the feedback from other StuGov members.

The meeting continued with three Student Elections Commission co-chair confirmations.

The SEC is, “dedicated to the fair elections of the undergraduate Student Government,” which begins with a campaign period on Feb. 28.

Qitian Wu, a sophomore in the College of General Studies, was confirmed as the Judicial Advisory Committee commissioner and Felicity Ong, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, was confirmed as the SEC co-chair.

“I used to be an SEC Commissioner, but now I’m an SEC co-chair due to two of our co-chairs stepping down,” Ong said. “It is really an honor to have this position right now for the spring semester.”

Cara Grigsby, a CAS sophomore, finished the set of co-chair confirmations.

“I joined because I wanted to learn more about the rules and regulations behind the election process,” she said.

All three were confirmed for their new roles.

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