ASG accessibility and inclusion VP, election commission elected


Erica Snow/The Daily Northwestern

Weinberg junior Jourdan Dorrell takes over for SESP junior Matt Herndon as accessibility and inclusion vice president. Dorrell plans to promote AccessibleNU and Student Enrichment Services to make them better known on campus.

Erica Snow, Reporter

Associated Student Government swore in a new accessibility and inclusion vice president for Winter Quarter, chose an election commission and passed a resolution supporting an affordable textbook act during Senate on Wednesday.

Weinberg junior Jourdan Dorrell filled the vice president position after SESP junior Matt Herndon stepped down in November for personal reasons. Dorrell expressed support for pushing a diversity course requirement and making resources from Student Enrichment Services and AccessibleNU well-known.

“We understand it’s only one more quarter but she brings a lot of energy,” Executive Vice President Christina Kim told The Daily. “She values a lot of the things that we, as an exec board, want to value within ASG.”

Dorrell was chosen by a selection committee, through an application process that closed Jan. 8. She answered questions directly from senators before being elected.

“It’s all about building relationships, especially when it comes to administration,” Dorrell said when addressing ASG about the possibility of a diversity requirement. “One of the first things I would do is contact the new dean and the new provost to be able to build relationships with them in order to better attack it from the administrational point of view.”

A seven-person election commission was also selected to serve as an oversight committee and a judicial body during ASG elections later in the year.

Among those elected was Speaker of the Senate Matt Clarkston, who cited his “seasoned voice of experience” that he could bring to the committee. The Weinberg senior also mentioned his previous role in the judicial board of Delta Tau Delta. Senator Lauren Thomas, a Weinberg junior, will serve a third year on the committee.

Toward the end of the meeting, a resolution to support the Franken Affordable College Textbook Act was passed unanimously. The bill will be discussed by ASG members at the Association of Big Ten Students winter conference at Rutgers University this weekend and will potentially be presented to Northwestern administration.

“Passing this really gives us more leverage in our argument for reducing average quarterly costs for students that’s outside tuition,” said Weinberg junior Joji Syed, vice president of community relations.

Presented by Syed and committee member Shayna Servillas, a Weinberg freshman, the resolution cited the increased cost of textbooks in the past decade and expressed support for open access textbooks. The textbooks would be in the public domain or available to the public under a permanent copyright license. Recommendations released by a task force on Tuesday addressed issues of expensive textbooks as well.

“This is for the students and that’s who we’re going to be prioritizing,” Syed said.

Legislation was also introduced to change guidelines in B-status funding to allow for more communication between ASG and student groups. B-status groups include about 100 small student groups receiving funding for activities, speakers and supplies from ASG. Automatic rollbacks were formalized so ASG could take back money that went unused in a quarter, and groups that don’t respond to five consecutive emails could lose their B-status.

“We have 100 groups and we only have 14 members, so we’ve had issues in the past of lack of communication on both parties’ sides,” said B-status Finances Vice President Kenny Mok. “If we’re giving students money, we expect basic communication.”

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