The Duke Student Government Senate nearly failed to reach quorum at its Wednesday meeting.

Nearly 15 minutes into its scheduled meeting, the Senate was lacking quorum, the minimum number of senators required to be present for voting to take place. The Senate requires a majority of senators and vice presidents to be present in order to proceed with business.  

Several senators arrived within the next few minutes, which allowed the meeting to start 20 minutes late. 

Executive Vice President Ilana Weisman, a senior, noted her disappointment with the senators who decided not to attend the meeting.

“The fact that for a good 20 minutes we did not even have a simple majority to vote or to have any business at all happen is shocking and upsetting and shows that people do not care about representing the student body,” Weisman said. “I understand that it’s the end of the year. I understand that everyone has work to do. But everyone in this room had work to do, and we couldn’t start until half an hour in. Everyone in this room has a million things going on, but cared enough to come here tonight.”

Next year, Weisman said she hopes that attendance will be enforced more regularly. The Senate has previously faced issues with attendance and quorum.

“Unfortunately, there’s no disciplinary mechanism that I can use at this point in the year,” Weisman said. “People who have been put in bad standing are not allowed to vote or talk next week, but there’s nothing else we can do unless there are people who will be reapplying to join the Senate or want other positions on DSG, in which case I hope that this impacts next year’s selections committee decisions.”

The Senate also voted on annual DSG awards for members of the organization and the University community. Recipients included:

  • Executive Vice President Ilana Weisman, a senior
  • Chief of Staff Kushal Kadakia, a sophomore
  • Jackson Dellinger, senator for Durham and regional affairs, a sophomore
  • Larry Moneta, vice president for student affairs
  • Esther Clark and Stormy Williams, staff specialists for student organization finances
  • Michael “Big Mike” Eubanks, a bus driver for Duke transit

“Esther and Stormy are incredible. They have made my life a thousand times easier. They are so hardworking and so patient and so lovely and always have smiles on their faces and process things so quickly,” Weisman said. “As someone who has been a leader in several different student organizations and has coordinated a lot of events and put in a lot of [purchasing cards], I think any student who’s been in that position knows and appreciates Esther and Stormy.”

In other business:

The Senate approved a budgetary statute to fund rental calculators in The Link. 

It also approved a resolution calling for the University to adopt the Campus Sustainability Committee's recommendations on the proposed natural gas plant.