ASG Senate proposes commission to appoint students to investment committee
February 9, 2017
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Associated Student Government Senate discussed a proposed change to its code describing how ASG will appoint its two members to the Advisory Committee on Investment Responsibility.
The University first approved the committee in November. It will include two faculty members, two undergraduate students appointed by ASG, two graduate students, two alumni and two Northwestern staff members.
The proposal would create a commission to appoint the undergraduate students to the ACIR. The commission would consist of the six members: the ASG president and executive vice president, two students elected by Senate and two undergraduate students elected by a collection of investment responsibility groups, including Fossil Free NU, NUDivest and Unshackle NU.
Chief of Staff Isaac Rappoport said the commission aims to accurately represent students’ feelings on responsible investment while respecting groups that have already been advocating for investment causes.
ASG has spent the months since the committee’s approval trying to determine how to fill its seats. The committee will make recommendations to the Board of Trustees on potential investments for Northwestern.
ASG president Christina Cilento said the goal of the committee is to be transparent and allow the student body to see the decisions the committee and the appointed members were making.
“We talked through a variety of ways that we could do that, and what we ultimately decided was this membership commission that would decide the two undergraduate members of the ACIR,” the SESP senior said.
The committee will be chaired by the chief of staff — who will not have a vote, even in the case of a tie — causing the committee to need four of six votes to appoint a candidate to the ACIR.
The proposal lays out a plan where one undergraduate student will be appointed during Winter Quarter and one will be appointed during Spring Quarter. Rappoport told The Daily the committee could start meeting as soon as the graduate and undergraduate students are appointed.
“Selecting representatives to the ACIR by commission ensures a fair and well-considered process, while also preventing all senatorial and presidential elections from becoming dominated exclusively by whether one supports particular divestment movements,” the proposal said.
Senate also heard a presentation explaining possible changes to the academic calendar. In addition to the 10-5-5-10 proposal, Senate heard several other options, including an earlier start to Fall Quarter and an end before Thanksgiving break. No changes will be made to the academic calendar until fall 2019 at the earliest, philosophy Prof. Baron Reed said in a presentation to Senate.