ASG officials and Greek councils strike deal to significantly reduce Greek representation within ASG Senate


Evan Robinson-Johnson / Daily Senior Staffer

Elizabeth Sperti, left, at an Associated Student Government Senate meeting. The ASG parliamentarian helped strike a bargain between the Greek caucus and Senate leadership.

Atul Jalan, Reporter

A new proposal would significantly reduce the number of Senate seats within the Associated Student Government apportioned to the four Greek councils on campus from 10 to four, ASG parliamentarian Elizabeth Sperti said. The adjustment is the outcome of an agreement struck by Sperti, the presidents of the Greek councils and Matthew Wylie, the speaker of the Senate.

Senators will now review the proposal, then vote to codify it through a constitutional amendment.

ASG officials suggested the change is in response to exceedingly low attendance numbers from most of the councils at the organization’s Wednesday Senate meetings.

“The Greek caucus for most of this year has been pretty much nearly non-existent,” Sperti said. “The only consistent senator that has shown up has been the (Multicultural Greek Council) senator, and then towards the end of this year, a second MGC senator has been coming as well.”

Originally, the National Pan-Hellenic Council and MGC received two seats, and the Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Association received three. The new system would reduce the total number of senators from 51 to 45.

The decrease is a further iteration of restructuring how Senate seats are divided, said Adam Davies, ASG’s executive vice president. Just one year ago, Davies explained, ASG transformed Senate representation by reallocating 20 seats that had at the time been filled by representatives from various on-campus neighborhoods to undergraduate schools instead.

“Northwestern has evolved and the way that we dictate the seats in Senate has also evolved,” Davies said. “We’ve changed to focus in more on schools and student groups and with that change, it made a lot of sense seeing as people’s identities are really intersectional and so you can be in a school on campus, be in a Greek council and be in a student group.”

The agreement is not ideal, MGC senator Javier Cuadra said, though it is understandable — and inevitable — given the other Greek councils’ apathy toward ASG.

MGC was the last council to agree to the deal. It represents mostly traditionally underrepresented groups, such as those composed of Latinx and Asian members. Cuadra said the fear is that these groups, in addition to Greek life generally, will lose much-needed representation within ASG.

“Most in MGC are of the opinion that they would like to keep both seats for the sake of being represented and having a voice; however, we also recognize that there has been difficulty filling up these seats,” Cuadra said. “We are a small council and it’s essential for us to speak on behalf of all the councils, so we’ve conceded if we end up having one seat, then it’s not the end of the world — although it definitely isn’t ideal.”

It is possible, Sperti said, that Senate will grow smaller still as officials consider how best to ensure seats are filled with active and engaged senators, though such discussions have been largely exploratory and abstract. It is unlikely that any further changes will be drastic, Sperti said, though if any are implemented, they will likely reduce the number of school senators in favor of more student group senators.

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