At its Wednesday meeting, the Duke Student Government Senate approved the charters of four new student groups and heard presentations from the Alumni Association and the Duke Climate Coalition. Here are some of The Chronicle's key takeaways from the session. 


The Senate unanimously approved legislation to provide more than $8000 in funding to supplement HackDuke, an annual coding conference. The funds will supplement the corporate sponsorships and institutional funding HackDuke already has through the Pratt School of Engineering and the department of computer science.

The mid-November event will be held in CIEMAS and will focus on four topics—energy and environment, health and wellness, inequality and education.

The Financial Oversight and Appeals Committee initially recommended that the Senate not approve $500 of HackDuke's budget requested for parking fees, which students already pay. However, it was noted that these funds would provide parking for HackDuke sponsors and that DSG has previously funded hotels and parking for guest speakers. 

Voting members of FOAC rescinded their recommendation, and the parking funding remained as part of the unanimously approved statute. 

“It is so phenomenal in a student government that funds all types of great programming for different groups that we are not forgetting about our awesome tech people,” said junior Sean Gilbert, senator for social culture.


Senators also heard the first reading of a bylaw amendment that would require all internal affairs legislation to be discussed by the Internal Affairs Committee before being presented to the entire Senate. Sophomore Will Hardee, vice president for services, proposed the amendment because he said it would improve meeting efficiency. 

The Senate will vote on the amendment at next Wednesday's meeting. 

Public forum:

Erin Brown, Trinity '16 and Ubben fellow for student programs in the Alumni Association, presented an online alumni database to the Senate. The online directory provides a centralized home for connecting with more than 163,000 alumni and is intended to foster networking relationships between current students and graduates.

“When you’re networking for yourself, you can leverage faculty, friends, family and anyone who might be connected to someone you are interested in talking to,” Brown said. 

Sophomore Claire Wang, president of the Duke Climate Coalition, discussed a controversial proposed new power plant. She emphasized that further communication between administrators and students regarding the proposed energy plant was necessary, and that communication could not “be a one-way street."

Budgetary statutes: 

The Senate unanimously approved two budgetary allotments for an election watch party to be held by the Public Policy Majors’ Union and a Standing Rock Sioux Tribe panel to be held by the Duke Environmental Alliance.

The election watch party was awarded approximately $1,600 for Duke University Police Department supervision and catering. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe panel was allotted $1,850 for the travel expenses of the three panelists.

The Senate also unanimously approved the allocation of $630 to provide disposable headphones for student use at both Brodie and Wilson gyms. The program, which piloted last year, subsidizes the purchase of 1,000 pairs of headphones.

New student groups:

Four new student groups were officially chartered—Duke Mobile Application Development, the Temptasians, the after-school program ASPIRE and the Duke Scouting Association.