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Senate tables open student group debate to fall

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McCormick junior Macs Vinson, ASG’s executive vice president, swears in Weinberg sophomore Rose Gambrah as vice president for student activities at Senate on Wednesday. Student group leaders selected Gambrah in the first competitive election for the position.

McCormick junior Macs Vinson, ASG’s executive vice president, swears in Weinberg sophomore Rose Gambrah as vice president for student activities at Senate on Wednesday. Student group leaders selected Gambrah in the first competitive election for the position.

Sophie Mann/Daily Senior Staffer

Sophie Mann/Daily Senior Staffer

McCormick junior Macs Vinson, ASG’s executive vice president, swears in Weinberg sophomore Rose Gambrah as vice president for student activities at Senate on Wednesday. Student group leaders selected Gambrah in the first competitive election for the position.

Erica Snow, Assistant Campus Editor

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Associated Student Government Senate tabled until the fall a resolution opposing a possible open admission policy for student groups at Wednesday’s meeting, at which senators struggled with low attendance.

Before the body could discuss the student groups resolution, senators had to send texts to find substitutes for their missing colleagues. For half an hour, Senate did not have quorum, the majority of senators in attendance needed to consider items on the agenda.

“Strongarm your friends into coming, basically,” said Weinberg sophomore Nehaarika Mulukutla, Speaker of the Senate, while encouraging students to find substitutes for absent senators.

SESP freshman Ben Powell suggested tabling debate about potentially shifting to open students groups because the lack of certainty about a policy as well as sparse attendance.

“Just looking around the room, we did not have quorum for this Senate,” Powell said. “Something like this — where the entire point is we are speaking for the student body — it feels like we would have no mandate and no legitimacy to do that today.”

A vote on the resolution was initially scheduled for May 25, but Senate lost quorum and pushed the vote to this week.

Weinberg junior Alec Blumenthal objected to moving the resolution to Fall Quarter because he said administrators should know the student body’s opinion about the policy before the fall. Blumenthal also wanted to debate and vote on the bill this week because an author of the resolution, Weinberg junior Kathir Sundarraj, was present for both Senate sessions during which the resolution has been mentioned.

“I’d just like to point out Kathir, who wrote this, very graciously agreed last week to have this moved to this week, then to push to next fall is kind of rude (for) us, as a body, to treat guests who come in with legislation that way,” Blumenthal said before senators approved tabling the discussion. “This deserves a vote.”

Earlier in the meeting, Weinberg sophomore Rose Gambrah was sworn in as vice president for student activities. Student groups leaders elected her in the first competitive race for the position after hearing candidates speak at the Student Organization Symposium, an event for student groups to learn about resources on campus.

Senate also heard the final funding requests of this academic year. Senators approved more than $20,000 in B-status funding for more than 70 student groups, and approved a Wild Ideas request of $2,500 for the new sex magazine Lickerish.

Senate also passed a code of ethics to provide guidelines for respectful discourse within Senate. Senators also changed the code, raising the number of votes needed for a secret ballot vote to be used. A majority vote will now be required instead of a one-fifth vote.

Email: ericasnow2019@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @ericasnoww

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