Boston University’s Student Government Senate held their first meeting of the school year Monday evening, where student leaders discussed how SG can rebrand its image and improve internal communications.
The Senate hopes to focus on internal issues before doing any outreach within the student body, while SG in general is looking to further refine its constitution in order to reduce inconsistencies and specify roles, SG President Jake Brewer said in his opening remarks.
“There are constitutional changes that need to be done,” Brewer, a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences, said. “It’s the reason why I got involved.”
Senate Chair Dan Collins said after the meeting that the Senate’s major effort this year will be introducing joint committees, where senators and cabinet members work together on initiatives.
“The one biggest thing we’re changing this year is the committees,” Collins, a junior in CAS, said. “Last year, the committees were only [in] Senate, and there was a big divide between senators. Nobody knew each other.”
Cabinets and senators will work together on proposals so cabinet gets direct feedback from the senators’ constituents and vice versa, Collins said.
Senators may choose to join any of the three committees: the Finance Committee, the Student Affairs Committee and the Communications Affairs Committee.
Senators can also join any of the four standing committees, which operate under independent leadership. Standing committees can be created at any time by individual senators; the four current standing committees are the Mental Health Committee, the 16,000 Strong, the Expect More Committee and the Academic Affairs Committee.
Senate voted to confirm Joshua Mosby, a senior in CAS, and Kaitlyn Perreault, a junior in CAS, as co-chairs of the Expect More Committee. The confirmation passed with one abstention.
The chair of the Mental Health Committee, Ramya Ravindrababu, a senior in CAS, was confirmed unanimously.
The final vote of the night was to confirm the Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee, CAS senior Hamilton Millwee. The move passed with one vote against.
Several senators said after the meeting that they have high hopes for the upcoming school year.
Hector Meneses, a Questrom School of Business senator, said he looks forward to the changes that SG faces.
“Hopefully, there will be some intellectual conversation regarding how we would like to shape SG,” the sophomore said. “Right now, we’re in a process of multiple ideas being thrown around, which is a really exciting time for student government.”
Zachary Treichel, a CAS senator, said he hopes SG will become more connected to the student body.
“Hopefully, we can continue to build on some of the progress we made last year,” the junior said. “I know a lot of people didn’t think we do a lot, but this semester is really open to the minds.”
Kaitlyn Tran, a junior in the School of Hospitality Administration and a Panhellenic Council senator, said SG needs to focus on “being transparent with people, especially with the constituents, and making sure people do go back to their people [to] discuss.”
SaraAnn Kurkul, SG executive vice president, said SG is looking to bridge the gap between BU students and their senators.
“For the whole year, we’re aiming to bring the student body together and connect it in a way that it really hasn’t been recently,” the junior in the College of Communication said.