ASG Senate passes resolution responding to Trump’s executive order


Allie Goulding/The Daily Northwestern

Weinberg junior Lars Benson speaks on behalf of a resolution introduced Wednesday at Senate. The resolution responds to Donald Trump’s executive order issued last Friday.

Jonah Dylan, Assistant Campus Editor

Associated Student Government Senate passed legislation Wednesday calling on Northwestern to provide legal resources and accommodations for students affected by President Trump’s recent executive order.

The Senate legislation, passed without the usual one-week waiting period, doesn’t immediately enforce change, but it voices concerns about Trump’s 90-day immigration ban restricting people traveling from the Muslim-majority countries of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen to the U.S. The resolution, which stands in support of Muslim students, urges the University to provide resources, including legal counsel and accessible housing, for students who can’t return to their homes during break.

“It’s inarguable that universities in the United States have an obligation to be beacons of learning, to be beacons of thought for people not only in the U.S. but around the world,” Weinberg junior Lars Benson said. “(Northwestern is) not simply a community of Americans; it’s a community of students from around the world with unique and diverse perspectives.”

The resolution, citing a report released by Northwestern’s International Office, said 49 current NU students are from the seven countries mentioned in Trump’s order. According to the report, there are 45 students from Iran, two from Syria, one from Yemen and one from Sudan.

ASG President Christina Cilento said the resolution is a way of showing NU’s support for students and faculty affected by the ban.

“We feel that (the order) discriminates and dispels serious harm to the Muslim community on campus, and this is our display of support for students who’ve been affected by it and who are very viscerally feeling its effects,” the SESP senior said.

The resolution also directly criticized Trump and his administration.

“We oppose President Trump’s unconstitutional and discriminatory executive order and call for his administration to reaffirm the United States government’s commitment to supporting the right of students, both domestic and foreign, to higher education,” the resolution reads.

Benson and Cilento both said it was important that the resolution was passed without the usual one-week waiting period after legislation is introduced.

“This executive order directly threatens not only the integrity of American universities but the integrity of the Northwestern community,” Benson said. “If we don’t speak against it now, we risk invalidating everything that makes this community as powerful and as meaningful as it can be.”

The authors eventually motioned to move the legislation to old business and vote on it immediately, marking the third time Senate has moved legislation directly to old business this year. Some senators, like Weinberg senior Lauren Thomas, are unhappy with the trend of moving legislation from new to old business the same day.

“There’s nothing in here that is going to happen in the next week,” Thomas said. “Trump’s ban has already been temporarily stayed; Northwestern has already stated that they’re going to not disclose information to the government about people’s national origin or about immigration status, and there’s nothing in here that is necessary to be passed tonight.”

However, Senate eventually passed the motion to move the resolution to old business and passed the resolution by a nearly unanimous tally.

During Wednesday’s meeting, Cilento and executive vice president Macs Vinson also proposed a plan that would increase the student activities fee to allow A-status and B-status finance committees more money to fund student groups.

Correction: A previous version of this story misstated Lars Benson’s year. Benson is a junior. The Daily regrets the error.

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