ASG discusses changes to process of altering leadership, student concerns on shipping belongings


The ASG amendment discussed at Wednesday’s meeting. It seeks to alter the procedure on making changes to ASG’s executive board positions.

Yunkyo Kim, Assistant Campus Editor

Northwestern’s Associated Student Government discussed a new constitutional amendment and passed a bill on staff awards during its Wednesday session.

Co-authored by SESP junior Soteria Reid, ASG’s executive officer of justice and inclusion, and Carl Morison, a Weinberg senator and sophomore, the amendment seeks to alter the procedure on making changes to ASG’s executive board positions.

“The purpose of this amendment is to strike what is a definitely hard balance between the flexibility that an organization needs to have … and the stability that it also needs to be able to function effectively,” Reid said.

The amendment would allow at least two of the four members of the executive office and five senators — or, alternatively, a petition of a hundred undergraduates — to propose a reform to the structure of ASG leadership, such as adding or taking away positions.

If this proposal is passed through a typical process of legislation, the structure will be implemented as a pilot program for a year unless it causes “substantial harm” to the organization. At the end of the year, the position will be reassessed and the Senate will vote on whether to authorize it as an amendment. No new reform proposals may be considered until the following Spring Quarter.

The two-year timeline may seem long to some, but Reid argued that it may offer an adequate period between the pilot program, assessment and implementation.

“For the organization to remain healthy, I thought it was important that it will be able to change,” Reid said. “Those changes would have to prove themselves to be worthwhile before we make them part of the foundational document of our organization.”

The Senate voted to eliminate the town hall required of the amendment process due to the burden of COVID-19 on some senators. The amendment will be up for a vote in two weeks.

ASG also passed a bill, originally introduced in its April 8 session, to approve the creation of the Vinson-Davies Award Honoring Staff Allies, named after the first two nonbinary vice presidents. The award will honor ASG faculty collaborators.

“There’s not necessarily an award or any way to acknowledge a lot of the work that our allies are doing and what it means to be a true student ally in an admin position,” said Izzy Dobbel, ASG president and SESP senior.

Up to four staff members will be nominated each year for their dedication and allyship to the student union.

The award emphasizes “allyship” as an “ongoing identity” in advocating for student needs, especially those of marginalized identities, SESP senator Daniel Rodriguez said.

“I think it honors a lot of people who we often forget put so much work into making this campus a better place,“ Rodriguez said.

Dobbel and ASG vice president Adam Davies, a SESP senior, also revealed they have been communicating with vice president for student affairs Julie Payne-Kirchmeier to address student concerns surrounding moving their belongings back home following the April 6 announcement that the rest of Spring Quarter will remain remote.

During the meeting, Dobbel said she reiterated some of the student concerns, and that Payne-Kirchmeier will be following up with potential solutions to unique problems.

“As it stands,” Dobbel said, “your voice is heard and action is coming.”

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