ASG talks leadership changes and late-night dining, passes FMO enshrinement

ASG+talks+late-night+dining+options%2C+resignations+in+leadership+and+FMO+enshrinement.

Daily file illustration by Emma Ruck

ASG talks late-night dining options, resignations in leadership and FMO enshrinement.

Angeli Mittal, Reporter

Associated Student Government discussed late-night dining in Evanston and resurfaced conversations about internal racism and For Members Only enshrinement at the first session of the quarter. 

Ald. Don Wilson (4th) discussed late-night dining options for students in Evanston at the Wednesday session at the invitation of Weinberg junior Jacob Brown. 

Wilson said he intends to consider the interests of NU students and will take input from the Senate meeting to the Evanston City Council. Brown said he plans to speak with Evanston mayor Steve Hagerty on Friday to address the need for affordable and accessible late-night food options.

Given that 61 percent of NU undergraduates receive financial aid, Rainbow Alliance senator and Communication sophomore Jo Scaletty said it is essential that the city recognizes the experiences of low-income NU students when deciding on late-night dining options.

“It’s important, at least to me, that whatever late-night dining you might be introducing is affordable for students to ensure that not only is it accessible to all students,” Scaletty said.

While programs like Producemobile providing fresh produce every month exist, Wilson said they’re likely not as marketed towards the University, a concern he believes has not been properly addressed.

ASG Executive Board also issued a statement addressing the events from last quarter’s meeting, including two resignations.

Last quarter, students voiced their concerns about ASG’s failure to address anti-Black sentiments and mistreatment within the organization. The meeting sparked a discussion about the lack of action from ASG in response to former speaker of the Senate Matthew Wylie’s inappropriate, racist remarks in a public ASG communication channel as well as allegations made against former advisor Prof. Mark Witte for presenting anti-Black content in class.

At Wednesday’s session, ASG President and Weinberg senior Juan Zuniga presented the ASG Executive Board’s statement in response to the remarks made during the discussion. The statement included information about the resignations of Witte and Wylie from ASG.

“We apologize for the continuous failure to appropriately rectify the harm done,” Zuniga said. “We want to reaffirm that this Executive Board has received, understood, and began to reckon with the acts of injustices our fellow students have brought forward, and we are in the process of investigating long-term, structural, and transformative changes to the way ASG operates.”

Next on Wednesday’s agenda was the FMO enshrinement legislation, which was tabled at the aforementioned fall meeting. Though the bill unanimously passed, the code change that permanently ensures Black students a Senate seat sparked another conversation about minority representation in ASG.

“I was really disappointed to see how (many) senators were voting to suspend the bill because we didn’t have much time to talk about it,” Weinberg sophomore and FMO Senator Jason Hegelmeyer said. “I heard 30 minutes of questions asked about late-night eating, so I hope if anyone has any questions about (the bill), we can talk about it because I really want to make sure that everyone’s on the same page here.”

In response to a question about the potential precedent the passing of the bill will create, SESP junior Soteria Reid, former executive officer for justice and inclusion, said if other marginalized groups are interested in the same request, then they can ask for it and ASG should address it.

“ASG should be able to make space, time, effort — whatever is needed — to make sure that those needs are met when they’re asked for,” Reid said.

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Twitter: @amittal27

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