Campus, News

Senators reject Brewer’s proposed bicameral legislative plan by narrow margin

Jake Brewer, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences and BU Student Government's president-elect, presents his amendment to create an upper and lower house at a Senate meeting Wednesday evening. PHOTO BY SOFIA FARENTINOS/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Jake Brewer, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences and BU Student Government’s president-elect, presents his amendment to create an upper and lower house at a Senate meeting Wednesday evening. PHOTO BY SOFIA FARENTINOS/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

The Boston University Student Government Senate debated for three hours Monday evening, eventually voting to reject president-elect Jake Brewer’s proposed amendment to the SG Constitution.

Brewer’s proposal was for a bicameral legislature, separating senators and the rest of the student body into an Upper House and Lower House, The Daily Free Press reported on April 12.

The amendment proposal failed to garner two-thirds support, with 16 senators voting for the proposal, 10 against it and one abstaining.

Brewer, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences, said in the meeting that he hoped to transform the Senate into a group that works with the student body to address real issues students are facing.

“People don’t care about [Senate] as much as they should,” Brewer said. “The effort is to make it into something that is capable of addressing issues, so people will care about this body. What is imminent in students’ lives is tuition is raising and money is being spent where students don’t know where it is being spent.”

Andrew Cho, SG’s current president, said the meeting was long but “healthy and productive,” and he was disappointed that Brewer’s proposed amendment did not pass.

“I honestly wish it was tabled, because so many senators left during the meeting and that would have changed the vote outcome that was obviously so slim,” said Cho, a senior in CAS.

Senate also elected Dan Collins, the current Senate vice chair, as next year’s Senate chair. Collins was competing with Warren Towers Residence Hall Association Senator Claire Tran.

Collins, a sophomore in CAS, said he plans on having intensive training for senators at the very first meeting of the year.

“All the senators will become more efficient, which will make [the student body] more willing to come to us,” Collins said after the meeting. “I’d like to bring back more of an amicable environment to Senate, and that starts with the mindset I instill into them during them during training.”

Senate Chair Courtney Bold said after the meeting that both candidates were well qualified, and she’s excited to see how Collins does as Senate chair next year.

“I’ve worked with [Collins] a lot the past year, as he was my vice chair,” said Bold, a senior in the Questrom School of Business. “I’m excited to see what Senate will be like under his leadership.”

Several other amendments and by-laws were presented to Senate, but they will be voted on next week.

Several senators said they were disappointed with the outcome of the meeting because they hoped Brewer’s proposed amendment would have passed. Other said Brewer’s amendment lacked judgement.

Anushka Pinto, a CAS senator, said she was shocked that Brewer’s proposal did not pass, especially after Brewer made compromises based on other suggestions.

“[Senate] needs this Lower House, and that is where some [senators] disagreed with [Brewer’s proposed amendment],” said Pinto, a junior in CAS. “People felt we silenced their voices [last semester], and this Lower House would give us a chance to get those students more involved and make direct decisions … As a [Senate], we need to rally behind some sort of change, because right now we aren’t making any progress.”

Powell Vince, an Environmental Student Organization senator, said he liked the way the meeting was run, and he is looking forward to next week’s meeting.

“We passed and denied the right amendments,” said Vince, a sophomore in the School of Engineering. “Hopefully we will be able to get more done next week.”

Adrianna Ortega, a South Campus RHA senator, said she was disappointed that Brewer’s proposed amendment was not passed.

“[Senate] could have had 10 extra student groups represented and a town hall type of deal with the rest of the student body,” said Ortega, a junior in the School of Education. “[Senators] have been working so hard to get everyone represented and we’ve been trying to make change happen, and it’s really disappointing that we put in all this work and it’s not happening.”

19 Comments

  1. so tired of this stupid senate. you guys only care about your own power

    • Senate cares about the students which is why the smart 10 voted against something that would only slow down the process of getting money and event funding to the students.

      And btw, if you think it sucks and you actually care, you should take the time to learn more about it and maybe attend a few meetings or STFU.

      • I have attended all of the meetings so I dunno why you made that stupid assumption. You STFU. There were details in the proposals that would allow for getting money and event funding to happen smoothly even with the lower house. Don’t spread misinformation to justify your stupid position. The proposals ALL contained provisions to get issues like funding without the need to refer to the lower house. It’s a lie to assert otherwise

      • how CONVENIENT Mr. D, that the 10 “smart students” who voted against this, are for the most part affiliated with Hillel, Panhellenic council, IFC SAAC? Why is that the case, Mr. D? Is it because they are worried about losing their seats or having to actually run for them and work for them like the rest of the student groups under the upper house portion presented in this proposal?

        You have formed a bloc that is blocking all legislation that is not in your personal interest. Organizing works, and that bloc will not keep controlling everything in senate.

    • Exactly what does senate have power over again? Giving money to clubs? Passing initiatives? It’s not like senators decide how much tuition is going to be next year….

  2. Nadia said she was gonna reform senate from the inside where u at nadia?

  3. Atid be like: lets slash the lower house

    literally every1 likes the lower house tho??????????? and you guys still voted against it??????

    • Your Average Student

      I’m not a senator or involved in student government, but I’m pretty sure that if everyone liked the lower house, the amendment would have passed regardless how one person voted. Having been to a few senate meetings, I think what most senators seem to overlook is that a good amount of senators don’t speak, if at all.

    • Guarantee you the vast majority of students are not interested in another time comitment like the lower house. Hence the representational body that is popular in student governments and real governments around the world.

  4. Not a good start for Jake. If he can’t get this passed right after his win, he’ll never get what he wants. Wonder how long until his impeachment.

    • Different Average Student

      I think it just goes to show that the voter turnout for this past election was based in radical groups. If more “average” students get out to vote, i don’t believe they would have won. Being affiliated with radical groups like Students for Justice in Palestine, who can get all of their members to vote is beneficial for voting for the slate. However, it just shows that the slate is aligned with a radical agenda. Then, when they propose this agenda to a more widespread audience (senate), most radical things will get shut down. Honestly, BU Recharged would have been the most effective. We want Louis! #JakeDoesn’tRepresentMe #SAS

    • We elected Jake because we believe in him. The senators are the establishment that led us to elect Jake in the first place. You can plan to impeach him as we know you will but be ready for that failing tactic to implode.

    • There are going to be new college and organization senators this fall, though. Several of the people in there now are lame ducks.

  5. Maybe if Jake showed the senate a little respect by at least following the dress code of the organization the senators would be more likely to hear his case.

    But, being realistic, getting 10% of the student body to be present every other week is an absurd dream. If you want people’s opinion host town halls, listen, and then decide. It doesn’t have to be a constitutional amendment to gauge the population’s interests.

    • lol why are you all so obsessed with your stupid ceremonials? Ok Frank Underwood thanks for pointing out that Jake showed up dressed casually. That says nothing about his intelligence or character or ability to serve the student body, it just reflects on your superficial evaluation and the general attitude of StuGov affiliates. Bougie, condescending but without any real substance

    • Oh and while we are at it, the current senate does not deserve respect

    • Why are you so afraid of letting the student body directly vote on something? What about that prospect worries you? and if they do not show up, it goes to the upper house so you get your precious business as usual?

    • Ever been to a Senate meeting? They dress like slobs.

  6. lololol 59% of Senate is radical tho ??