Senate approves new line policy, Tutt appointment

Duke Student Government representatives voted in favor of two major issues at their meeting Wednesday night.

Representatives approved the new men's basketball line policy and the appointment of DSG Webmaster Andrew Tutt, a junior, to the President's Council on Black Affairs.

Junior Sunny Kantha, vice president for athletics and campus services, said he and Head Line Monitor Roberto Bazzani, a senior, have added an "unregister button" to the Web site to avoid no-shows at games.

The policy allows students to visit the site starting three days prior to a game to reserve admission.

Kantha and Bazzani stressed that in an effort to maintain consistency, no further changes to the new policy would be made this season even if it is unsuccessful, but added that they will compile a midseason report on the program's progress.

At the meeting, Tutt fielded questions from representatives and defended his appointment to PCOBA. The issue of his appointment was brought back into debate after it was tabled for more than two weeks because Tutt was absent from the meeting when concerns were first raised.

"The committee doesn't need to be totally homogenous," he said. "I believe as a white person, as a person with a unique biography and background, I can make a positive contribution."

Tutt said despite his disconnect from the black community at Duke, he is "incredibly conscious" about black issues and the divisions between the black and white communities. He said his involvement in these issues stems from the divisiveness he encountered in his hometown, where he reached out to the black community in his high school by joining the black student union.

Some senators questioned Tutt's ability to advocate for the black community at Duke. Tutt said he has no agenda but is passionate about pressing issues such as the grade disparity between black and white students at Duke and the ripple effects of the lacrosse case.

DSG President Paul Slattery, a senior, said the relatively large size of PCOBA, which consists of 20 members, allows for appointees such as Tutt who do not have an agenda to contribute through the discussions they spark.

In an interview after the meeting, Tutt said he was initially surprised at the resistance to his appointment, but is now aware of where he stands in the Duke community.

"This process has shown me that I am not currently associated with the black community at Duke as I have been in the past [with black communities]," he said.

He added that this disconnect was "unfortunate" and that he plans to put greater effort into reaching out to members of the Black Student Alliance.


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