Duke Student Government Senate approved a resolution to support the ePrint initiative introduced by representatives from Students for Sustainable Living, following a debate centered around the exemption system.
Sophomore David Clancy and junior Leah Catotti, members of Students for Sustainable Living, presented their proposal for the exemption system to the ePrint quota reduction that they proposed at the previous meeting. Under the proposed system, students may receive exemptions through an automatic objective process or a subjective process mediated by a committee of students.
“Very few schools have exception policies for their printing system, but most schools that do use a council approach to determine if exemptions are warranted,” Clancy said.
Clancy explained that students could apply for an exemption through two routes—an objective process in which students would be granted exemption following the presentation of financial need or medical need documentation and a subjective process in which students could submit online a written request that would be reviewed by a student committee.
The proposed system would create a committee composed of students representing Sustainable Duke, the Office of Information Technology and the Duke Libraries, with a staff member from OIT managing the system. Clancy noted that the committee would suggest whether an exception is warranted but OIT would have the final say in granting an exemption.
“There are more hoops, that’s true, but those are the hoops that make people think again before damaging the environment,” senator Michael Pelle, a sophomore, said.
Catotti said she is not yet sure how this program will affect student printing habits, but she noted that the committee will address the effects of the system after the first year and make adjustments as necessary.
“Of course our goal is to decrease printing overall, but even if printing patterns don’t change that much, if people are at least thinking about how their printing is affecting the environment, that’s a victory within itself,” Catotti said.
Following the presentation by Clancy and Catotti, several senators—freshman Betty Chen, sophomore Hannah McCracken and juniors Tristan Ballard, Ray Li and Ellie Schaack—presented a resolution to the Senate to support the ePrint quota change. Li noted that this initiative would convey an important message about the University’s priorities.
“It’s Duke taking a strong stance on sustainability,” Li said. “We’re not just students at Duke University. We’re students who are affected by the world.”
Chief of Staff Daniel Pellegrino, a senior, opposed the resolution. He argued that the Senate shouldn’t be supporting an initiative that limits student resources and creates obstacles for students to regain those resources.
“I’m someone that prints a lot, I can’t interact with written words in a meaningful way unless I have the material printed out,” Pellegrino said. “This wouldn’t change my behavior at all, it would just cost me more money.”
In other news:
Junior David Robertson, a candidate for vice president of Durham and regional affairs, presented his platform focused on “creativity, collaboration, and commitment.”
“I want to bring together all the resources that Durham has for Duke students,” Robertson said. “Every Duke student can grow by engaging in the Durham community.”
Junior Derek Rhodes, vice president for Durham and regional affairs, presented a recent study by The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement on Duke student voting in the 2012 presidential election. The results of the study showed that 7,935 graduate and undergraduate students registered to vote and 6,123 voted. In addition, 77.2 percent of eligible Duke students voted in comparison to the North Carolina average of 63 percent.
Senators Eric Lam, a sophomore, and Tara Bansal, a freshman, presented a resolution to support DukeConnect, a new summer reading program for incoming freshman students. This program will incorporate written, visual and auditory material to increase student participation. The Senate voted to approve this resolution.
“In an ideal world, students would want to read the book as well as the supplemental material, but this isn’t realistic,” Bansal said. “With this program, students who don’t have time or choose not to read the book are still able to engage with the themes behind the book and join in the conversation.”
The program will be integrated into the program for the Class of 2018, as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's novel "Americanah" will be accompanied by a TEDTalk by the author.
The Senate approved Student Organization Finance Committee's allocations of $2,250 to Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. for the Carpe Noctem Gala on April 18.
The Senate granted chartered status to Nakasai African Dance Ensemble, a dance group for all students interested in African-style dance.
The Senate approved a resolution presented by senior Jacob Tobia, vice president for equity and outreach, to support need-blind admission and full financial aid for undocumented students.
Newly-elected Executive Vice President Abhi Sanka, a sophomore, presented several recommended changes to the Senate bylaws. Senators will automatically be placed in bad standing upon accruing two unexcused absences and an automatic referral to the Senate judiciary committee following three unexcused absences. Sanka noted that these automatic penalties will help to discourage senator absences.
The Senate selected winners for the five DSG awards given annually. President Stefani Jones, a senior, was selected for the Paul Edwin Harner Award, MC Bousquette, a senior and policy adviser to the Senate, was selected for the Reginaldo Howard Award, pro tempore Patrick Oathout, a senior, was selected for the Graydon John Forrer Award, Vice President for Student Affairs Larry Moneta was selected for the Dean Suzanne Wasiolek Award and Provost Peter Lange was selected for the Nannerl O. Keohane Award.
Senator Julia Huang, a sophomore, presented a budgetary statute to grant $769.14 to Duke International Relations Association for the University’s cancellation of the Duke University Model United Nations Conference due to inclement weather. The Senate approved this statute.