The Senate unanimously passed a resolution confirming Duke Student Government’s support for the efforts of the Center for LGBT Life to increase the size of their new programming space to at least the size of its current space.
Representatives from Blue Devils United presented the layout of their new space as it is currently planned, noting the lessened space allotted for programming. The center will move from the West Union Building to the Bryan Center by Fall 2013. Blue Devils United president Denzell Faison, a junior, noted that as planned, the programming space of the new office—which will be located on the top floor of the Bryan Center—would be half of its current size. He added that student representatives from Blue Devils United were not consulted during the formulation of the layout.
“All we’re asking for is what we were previously promised and what we believe we deserve,” Faison said. “We were told we’d get half the space, but we got considerably less.”
The center’s goal is to accommodate the growing population of LGBT life on campus with an expanded space.
“The LGBT center serves hundreds of students on campus,” said senior Michael Pruitt, a representative from Blue Devils United, noting that the center is staffed by two people, excluding students. “We were hoping to expand the office to make it so that there was a regular student section, and now that’s out the window.”
Junior Stefani Jones, vice president of equity and outreach, noted that the resolution is timely given the fact that the plans have not been solidified.
“The inside of the space hasn’t even been approved yet,” Jones said. “This is definitely a stage in the process where we can be talking about this and [making] this request.
In other business:
Sophomore Jacob Zionce, vice president of residential life, proposed an amendment to the Residential Group Assessment Committee. The committee aims to strengthen the relations between selective housing groups and Duke’s residential community as a whole. Previously, RGAC rated selective housing groups at the beginning and end of each year based on a rubric.
Zionce noted that he wishes to expand these ratings to three times a year, including a mid-year assessment that would not have any long-term consequences to the groups but would simply check on their progress. He also hopes to change a specific rubric qualification which, in the past, had awarded points to selective living groups who hosted events with fellow groups to link the community. If this amendment is passed, there will no longer be any points given for this action.
The Senate then discussed the three members—freshmen Elizabeth McGlamry and Nandita Singh and sophomore Ciera Echols—who had applied and interviewed for a position on the Board of Elections. As these students had to monitor freshman election campaigns, they were not present at the Wednesday meeting. The Senate voted to temporarily elect the candidates to the Board of Election positions until the senate can formally meet them and decide on their capability.
An amendment to the Student Organization Finance Committee bylaw was introduced. The bylaw would change the membership structure of the surplus trustees. Currently, a five-member Executive Board Committee comprises the Surplus Trustee Committee along with four student senators. The amendment would make the four senators official members of the committee. DSG will vote officially on this amendment at their next meeting.