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DSG welcomes new senators, elects new committee members

At Wednesday’s meeting, a week after rejecting the organization Young Life from being chartered, the Duke Student Government Senate welcomed 39 new senators and three new Student Organization Finance Committee members for the 2019-20 academic year. 

The Senate swore in the new senators, who were elected to the Senate in first-year elections earlier this month. 

The new senators pledged their oath of office, which is a nearly verbatim DSG version of the Oath of Office of the President of the United States.

“I, [senator name], swear that I will faithfully execute the office of DSG senator, and that I will to the best of my ability preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the Duke Student Government,” the oath states.

The Senate then elected new committee members to presidential committees, which are appointed by the university president and advise the president’s office.

Senators elected to presidential committees were:

  • Athletic Council: Senator Jackson Kennedy, a sophomore, and Senator Luke Vermeer, a first-year
  • Campus Sustainability Committee: Senator Tommy Hessel, a junior
  • Committee on Duke Forest: Senator Elizabeth Bock, a first-year
  • Committee on Facilities and Environment: Senator Luke Evans, a sophomore, and Senator Jannis Stoeter, a junior

The President’s Art Advisory and Council on Black Affairs committee members will go through an application process and will be selected in the future. 

A handful of senators were also confirmed to other roles—some in DSG and some through other organizations at Duke. 

Senator Angikar Ghosal, a first-year, was confirmed to the Informational Technology Advisory Council, which advises Duke’s Information Technology team. Senators Shirley Mathur and Matthew Ralph, both sophomores, were confirmed to the Senate’s Internal Affairs committee. 

The Senate also confirmed seven senators to the Senate Judiciary Committee: Senator Yash Nagpal, a junior; Senator Dan King, a first-year; Senator Andrew Weatherman, a first-year; Senator Madison Stadem, a first-year; Senator Joon Young Lee, a first-year; Senator Lana Gesinsky, a first-year, and Stoeter.

In other business

Chief of Staff Saheel Chodavadia, a senior, introduced Slack, the communication platform of choice for DSG, to the new senators in his brief  “40 steps to success” guide.

The Senate unanimously chartered Bull City Scholars, a club aiming to provide tutoring and mentorship to middle school students in the Durham community. 

The Senate also funded Duke American Sign Language $5,500 for their semester-long sign language classes. Neurocare received $6,024.16 for a speaker event in Reynolds Auditorium. Duke Sangeet was funded $1,500 for a vocal concert in White Lecture Hall. The Pitchforks received $3,408.25 for their 40th anniversary concert, and Duke Muslim Students Association were funded $2,050 for a speaker event. 

The Senate also approved $5,850 from the DSG surplus fund for Duke Dance Council’s annual space rental.


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