ASG passes bill to put student on Board of Trustees

Sammy Caiola

The Associated Student Government unanimously passed legislation Wednesday that could potentially put a student representative on the Board of Trustees next year.

The Board of Trustees must approve the bill before it goes into effect, ASG President Claire Lew said. ASG leaders will present the bill to the board during one of the three meetings they have with it each year.

The student representative would not have a vote on the board but would attend each of its meetings, according to the bill.

“Even a two-minute speech in a board meeting has the potential to allow a board member to ask the questions that could seriously impact the University,” bill co-author David Harris said. “The student is not meant to be a lobbyist. They are just meant to share our perspective.”

Harris, a SESP freshman, planned the bill with Lew, and all four caucus whips are sponsors of it. The last time ASG tried to add a student representative to the Board of Trustees was in 2002.

The authors of the resolution did not include details regarding who the representative should be or how the represented should be elected or appointed. ASG should leave the details of the process and implementation to the Board of Trustees, Harris said.

Other universities have similar systems. The Consortium on Financing Higher Education, referenced at the meeting, is a group of 31 colleges and universities that are considered “peer institutions” of NU. Of this group, 12 schools include a student on their boards of representatives.

Duke University has a direct campus election for its representative, while in other schools the board chooses the student, Harris said.

Lew, a SESP senior, said she hopes the board will consider giving an NU student a chance to be part of board conversations.

As it stands, the only voice undergraduates have in financial matters is through the Student Affairs Committee, but Harris said these meetings are unidirectional and usually only address student life issues.

“The trustees are the big picture designers of what are ultimately the top fiscal priorities for the University, and right now there’s no avenue for student input in that process,” Lew said.

ASG also tabled indefinitely the Resolution Affirming Support for the Democratic State of Israel and a Full Continuance of Security Assistance to Israel, which would have declared that ASG wants NU, the state and the country to strengthen support of Israel.

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