At its Wednesday meeting, the Duke Student Government Senate voted to pass an amendment that would change the role of the vice president of a committee. 

Introduced by the Internal Affairs Committee, the amendment—which the student body will vote on in an upcoming ballot—will change the word “direct” to the word “manage” to describe vice presidents' purview over their respective committees. Executive Vice President Ilana Weisman, a senior, noted that the word change was accompanied by a shift in the roles of the vice presidents that would give more power to senators. 

“The change... [is] that the VP should occupy a management role—a role where they’re advising senators and coordinating with senators, where they’re not telling senators what to do and they’re not conveying anyone else’s wishes or anyone else’s policy agenda onto their senators," Weisman said. "They’re trying to grow it bottom up, and this change is what that reflects."

The Senate also failed to pass another component of the proposed reconfiguration plan. This amendment would have changed the election process for a vice president from externally elected to internally elected.

Weisman noted that without this component of the reconfiguration plan, the reconfiguration would not be as effective.

“Obviously, I wish that the other elements of reconfiguration had passed—I do think DSG would be most effective with internally-selected committee chairs,” Weisman said. “I think it removes your popularity contest in elections. I think it removes the reason why people run purely to have a title, and I think it would make Senate more effective as a result. But the real purpose of reconfiguration and why we want this to pass is so hopefully we get more done and we get more projects done."

However, some senators noted that internally selecting vice presidents would deprive students of voicing their opinions. 

The Senate will vote on amendments to reduce senate size as part of the reconfiguration plan in upcoming weeks. There are two proposals for this—one includes reducing the number of senate seats from 60 to 50 and the other from 60 to 55. 

In other business:

The Senate approved a budgetary statute for the Duke Marketing Club's Library Party after some contention. Last week, the club requested $16,680 from the surplus fund for its event. Several senators proposed amendments to cut down the money requested, noting that the party had already received donations from President Richard Brodhead and Provost Sally Kornbluth, as well around $19,000 from the Student Organization Funding Committee previously. The request was eventually approved as $1,400 from the programming fund rather than the surplus fund.

The Senate also approved a budgetary statute for DukeAfrica and unanimously approved a new SOFC group—Duke Undergraduate Law Magazine.