Prez blasts judicial policy, cites alternative plans

Duke Student Government President Paul Slattery discussed his agenda at the organization's first meeting of the 2007-2008 academic year Wednesday night.

Of the numerous ideas he highlighted for the year, Slattery, a senior, said one of his top priorities is to to continue talks with administrators on the University's judicial policy to give students more rights.

"This is a call to recognize students as human beings, as members of this community," he said.

Slattery said other points of his agenda included making the party monitor system less stringent and fleshing out the liability issues associated with Duke Bikes, among other plans.

"We're going to try to decrease the number of regulations at the University as far as the social scene goes," he said.

At the meeting Slattery presented comparative data showing that Duke lags behind peer institutions in the number of procedural rights reserved to students.

"We continue to not fare so well," Slattery said. "In fact, I think [the administration] hates us."

He added that the University judicial policy was more liberal in years past, noting that Duke used to offer rights that were not offered by other institutions.

In his presentation, Slattery stressed cooperation with the administration rather than divisiveness, adding that he fears progress will be inhibited if the issue becomes too "spicy."

Slattery cited a similar situation at Stanford University--where students drafted and gained approval for a bill of rights-as an example of what DSG might strive for this year.

"I think there's a very good shot that there will be some form of a student bill of rights, it's just a question of how nice to us the bill of rights is going to be," he told The Chronicle.

In other business:

Executive Vice President Jordan Giordano, a junior, proposed an amendment to the DSG Constitution that would split the position of vice president of community interaction into two new positions-a vice president of Durham and regional affairs and a vice president of the Inter-Community Council. DSG senators will vote on the amendment at next week's meeting.

Over the summer, the Auditing Committee was merged with the Student Organization Finance Committee in response to junior Aurora Lopez's resignation as the Auditing Committee chair, said junior Alex Crable, SOFC chair.


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