ASG Senate prepares for funding senate, discusses legislation regarding NU’s relationship with Ukraine


Julian Andreone/The Daily Northwestern

The Associated Student Government is preparing for next week’s funding senate, in which the body will distribute $30,000 of funds to student organizations across campus.

Julian Andreone, Reporter

The Associated Student Government Senate prepared for next week’s upcoming funding senate and discussed legislation demanding NU reaffirm its commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty in a Wednesday meeting.

The Senate spent a majority of the time preparing for next week’s funding senate, a bi-annual event in which ASG Senate hears student groups’ appeals for funding and allocates its finances accordingly. The body has $30,000 to distribute to student groups for the Spring 2023 cycle.

Funding student organizations is ASG’s main responsibility as a governing body, according to Speaker of the Senate and SESP junior Leah Ryzenman. 

Ryzenman said next week’s funding meeting can demonstrate the tangible impact ASG Senate can have on the student body.

“(Funding senate) reminds us why we’re here,” Ryzenman said. “It’s for moments like this where we can actually be making a difference.”

Weinberg freshmen Malik Rice and Ty’Shea Woods, ASG’s co-executive officers of justice and inclusion, led a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and financial literacy training in preparation for next week’s meeting.  

In the workshop, Rice and Woods prepared Senators to think about the funding allocation process by presenting hypothetical funding scenarios involving groups on campus, including Alianza and Club Lacrosse. 

Senate Parliamentarian and Weinberg freshman Grace Houren said she will be responsible for counting the votes during the funding senate to determine whether a group will receive finances from ASG. 

She said she hopes next week’s meeting will be more orderly than the funding senate held in Fall Quarter 2022. During the fall meeting, ASG senators deliberated for more than three hours before allocating more than $60,000 across 27 different student groups.

“I think the training we did today is going to be very helpful,” Houren said. “I’m hoping it’ll go a lot smoother and a lot faster.”

During Wednesday’s meeting, senators also heard and discussed legislation asking NU to reaffirm its commitment to Ukraine. NU Political Union Senator and Weinberg junior Edward Dowd said the University has not formally spoken out on the matter since March 18, 2022, when it announced its support for Ukraine after Russia invaded the country a month prior.

Dowd, who authored the legislation, said NU has an “incredibly important” voice and should use it to support its Ukrainian students. For Dowd, who is Estonian, silence from the University could be perceived as complacency. 

“Northwestern’s voice is incredibly important,” Dowd said. “Back in March, it was really important to a lot of people. I think to do it again would be even better.”

The Senate will vote on the legislation during next week’s meeting, but Dowd said he felt strong support from his fellow Senators in the deliberation period. 

Dowd said he drafted the legislation as a representative of Political Union, a nonpartisan club, because the organization noticed the ongoing war has had a lasting effect on members of the NU community.

“Our goal is really to give people a voice,” Dowd said. “We’re not trying to take a partisan stance, but really understanding that there are universal values and morals to things.”

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @JulianAndreone

Related Stories: 

ASG Senate passes legislation freezing funds for NUCR indefinitely

ASG Senate passes resolution to co-sign Black student demands statement, swears in new co-presidents

ASG Senate passes legislation to reduce bird collisions with Mudd Library