ASG Senate passes first legislation, proposes initiative to increase student legislation involvement


Esther Lim/The Daily Northwestern

Associated Student Government proposed a new initiative to make it easier for students to write new legislation and passed its first initiative of the year Wednesday.

Kaavya Butaney, Reporter

Associated Student Government proposed an initiative Wednesday to make it easier for students who are not a part of ASG to draft new legislation.

Medill senator Lily Ogburn and Weinberg senator Santiago Elizondo, the legislation’s sponsors, will oversee both the creation of a Google Form and the partnership of students and senators in writing new legislation.

“What we found right now is that the instructions to create legislation (are) very deep within the website,” Ogburn said. “If you’re not well versed with the ASG website, it would be difficult to go about finding those directions, writing the legislation, understanding how to attend Senate meetings — or even just reaching out to leadership.”

The proposed Google Form, which will go live by next February, will ask students for their plan and if they want to work with a specific senator during the writing process. 

The legislation, titled “The Student Legislative Action Plan,” suggests the Google Form be put on social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram, as well as ASG’s homepage.

“We’re trying to be more representative of the student body,” Elizondo said. “Something that we want to approach is changing how students can interact with legislation with ASG. Right now … it’s a lot of time for a student to dedicate to something where they don’t know if there’s a reward out of it.”

The legislation follows the “ASG Senate Visibility and Communication Initiative,” introduced last week and passed Wednesday, which seeks to improve communication between senators and students. It was the first time ASG used voting via Wildcat Connect.

The initiative was the first bill passed by ASG Senate this academic year.

“It’s a bill trying to increase senator accessibility with constituents,” legislation sponsor and Weinberg senator Ty’Shea Woods said.

ASG also discussed funding allocations for student organizations. According to Speaker of the Senate Dylan Jost, the Senate has about half its $45,000 budget left to spend this quarter.

The Finance Committee has already allocated money from a separate fund to some organizations, but next week’s meeting will allow groups to ask for additional funding. 

While the committee lists rules for how it can spend its funding, the Senate does not.

“The goal is to use it all,” Jost said. “And it’s usually not a problem.”

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Twitter: @kaavya_butaney

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