The Boston University Student Government passed two constitutional amendments that will oversee the continuity of SG’s initiatives and prohibit discriminatory legislations from being passed. Members of the Student Government convened at their Monday Senate meeting to approve the revisions.
Hamilton Millwee, SG’s director of academic affairs, proposed an amendment April 4 to change SG’s name into “Student Union,” add 25 at-large Senate seats and implement the Executive Advisory Committee, The Daily Free Press reported on April 5.
In the meeting, Senate members debated on the amendment. Senate Vice Chair Dan Collins said the amendment to change SG’s name to “Student Union” would cause too many logistical problems and confuse students with SG’s image.
Collins, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, motioned to strike the particular article. The motion passed with 77 percent of Senate voting for the motion, 14 percent against and 9 percent abstaining.
Atid Malka, a freshman in the College of Engineering, motioned to strike the article for at-large senator seats. The motion passed with 63 percent of Senate voting for the motions, 31 percent against and 6 percent abstaining.
Senate passed the remainder of the amendment, which includes establishing the Executive Advisory Committee, with 75 percent of Senate voting for the remainder of the amendment, 6 percent against and 19 percent abstaining.
After the meeting, Millwee said he was disappointed about the outcome of the Senate’s vote, but he encouraged other SG members to take on the issue of representation.
“This is a proposal I have worked on for literally two years,” said Millwee, a junior in CAS. “I thought [it] was the best. It gave representation to student groups while also maintaining a one-to-one, one person, one vote requirement.”
SG President Andrew Cho said after the meeting that he understood some senators are frustrated by the amendment. However, Cho said he remained confident that Jake Brewer, a CAS junior and SG president-elect, will be able to create change in regard to representation.
“A lot of really good points were made,” said Cho, a senior in CAS. “I understand people are frustrated that [change] is taking a while, but that’s the process.”
Senate Chair Courtney Bold said she appreciates the senators’ discussion and hopes to see more of it in the future.
“There was a lot of debate and we got to see a lot of different sides of this issue through the Senate discussion,” Bold, a senior in the Questrom School of Business, said after the meeting.
Brewer also presented an amendment that would alter the legislative branch by creating a bicameral legislature with an Upper House and a Lower House structure. The Senate will vote on Brewer’s amendment at its next meeting.
After the meeting, several senators said they had mixed feelings regarding the portion of Millwee’s amendment that was struck by the Senate.
Anish Guha, a sophomore in Questrom and a Questrom senator, said he feels the at-large seats are a necessary solution to SG’s lack of representation.
“I support the amendment that was struck [because] that’s one of the best ways that we can fix the representation issue in SG,” Guha said. “I am looking forward to spending the next few days talking with a lot of the senators to find out how we can come to the most optimal solution.”
Adrianna Ortega, a junior in the School of Education and a senator for the South Campus Residence Hall Association, said she was disappointed in the results, but she hopes Brewer’s amendment will pass at the next meeting.
“[Millwee’s amendment would] be a really great way to get more representation on Senate and to have more people’s voices heard,” Ortega said.
Jeremy Singer, a junior in Questrom and a senator for 10 Buick St., said the process is taking so much time because none of the senators want to rush into a problematic change.
“There is a major issue of representation and voter equity here at BU, and it is largely causing legitimacy issues for this group,” Singer said. “We are at a crossroads … because people take this very seriously in this room and we’re not ready to just let something happen haphazardly if we think that’s going to have a negative effect.”