The independent news organization of Duke University

Letter to the Editor

Last Wednesday, DSG made the Catholic Center pay over $2,000 out of pocket. We didn’t force the expense on the Catholic Center because we thought the event they put on was a bad idea; we simply failed to vote on their appeal for help. We were too busy dramatizing a fight that has dragged on for years—restructuring. Today’s referendum is meant to stop such problems from happening again. Voting for the restructuring referendum makes Senate more efficient and puts our priorities back in order.

Since Senate took its current form, most Senators have agreed it should be smaller. Just as most folks pay more attention in a seminar than in a lecture, in a smaller Senate, Senators will be more engaged. However, Senate's been unable to come together on a restructuring plan—until now. Next week, Senate will vote and likely pass a plan that eliminates at-large seat replacements for uncontested elections. Put simply, Senate would both shrink in size and increase its proportion of elected Senators. Today’s referendum allows us to move forward with our restructuring plan next week, and finally accomplish a goal that has been four years in the making. 

Additionally, a vote “yes” makes it easier for DSG to restructure in the future. Currently, any change in Senate size requires approval by two-thirds of the senate and half of the student body. These requirements essentially force us to restructure during election season and turn what should be serious proposals into aspirant politicians’ talking points. The chaos that ensues gets in the way of the work DSG is supposed to do (like debating whether to fund the Catholic Center). Yesterday, Senator Sullivan called the proposed referendum “elitist.” I’d argue the only elitism of which Senate is guilty is thinking our internal affairs are more important than actually helping students. Restructure senate. Help us reprioritize. Vote yes on the referendum.

Jackson Dellinger
Trinity '19


Share and discuss “Letter to the Editor” on social media.