Newly-elected Rules Committee members to review ASG code, prioritize inclusivity

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Daily file illustration by Emma Ruck

ASG voted For Members Only Senator Jason Hegelmeyer, Medill Senator Julia Karten and Hillel Senator Dalia Segal-Miller to the Rules Committee Wednesday.

Emma Rosenbaum, Reporter

Associated Student Government senators campaigned for vacancies on the Rules Committee in the organization’s Wednesday session, hoping to use the committee to make student government more equitable.

The Rules Committee works as the judicial branch of ASG, ensuring legislation aligns with ASG code and reviewing and updating the code if necessary. 

While these changes are usually small, the committee has the power to do more, Elizabeth Sperti, Weinberg junior and chief of staff, said.

“The rules committee can be a really great place to (make significant changes to ASG),” she said.

ASG elected For Members Only Senator Jason Hegelmeyer, Medill Senator Julia Karten and Hillel Senator Dalia Segal-Miller to fill vacant seats on the Rules Committee. All three senators said they want to make a larger impact on ASG. 

“Being able to make active change is something that we can do, like a way for ASG to be a more equitable space and making it more accessible to marginalized students,” Hegelmeyer said.

Multiple senators endorsed Hegelmeyer for the committee, saying they felt he was particularly passionate about improving ASG. Analytics Chair Joe Maino said he thought it was important to elect Hegelmeyer because the ASG code is the only place where members can cement their ideals in writing — and Hegelmeyer has experience in writing innovative legislation.

“Somebody who has written legislation in the past in an effort to improve this organization and make sure that people are being represented in the way that they should be is somebody that I trust to serve on the Rules Committee,” Maino said.

Hegelmeyer and Karten are also on the Ad Hoc Committee to Reimagine ASG. Both said the two committees go hand-in-hand, since the Ad Hoc Committee is reviewing ASG’s code and constitution as well. 

Since Winter Quarter, the Ad Hoc Committee has been looking into how ASG can restructure to be more inclusive. Karten, a Daily staffer, said looking over the code and analyzing how it can be more equitable will be beneficial to restructuring.

After examining parts of the code for the committee, Hegelmeyer said the use of Robert’s Rules of Order, a manual of parliamentary procedure, is something he wants to change. He said the order didn’t provide clarity as to when people could speak and only former speaker of the Senate Matthew Wylie knew the rules. The change could allow for a more open conversation in Senate meetings, Hegelmeyer said. 

While the Rules Committee has the potential to make ASG a more inclusive space, Hegelmeyer said there is still work to be done.

“The Rules Committee is certainly a start, but it only meets once a quarter,” Hegelmeyer said. “It’s not a solution at all. It’s just a start. It’s one step we can do.”

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