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DSG funds China leadership summit at Wednesday meeting

Duke Student Government Senate wasn’t frugal Wednesday night—DSG approved more than $20,000 in Student Organization Finance Committee funding at its meeting.

DSG approved SOFC’s allotment of $2,225 for Duke East Asia Nexus’ Duke-UNC China Leadership Summit. Much of the expenses accommodate the travel and lodging of speakers, who will come from around the globe. 

Delegates from Wuhan University and Duke Kunshan University were originally scheduled to speak at the Feb. 21 event. However, because of Duke’s ban on University-funded travel to China during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, these delegates are unable to come. 

Although the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is participating in the event, SOFC approved funding only for events happening on Duke’s campus. Alumni panels include speakers from both schools, but SOFC did not fund them because they will be held on UNC’s campus. 

Initially, Duke Kunshan University was going to fund part of the expenses related to their delegates, but DKU withdrew this funding because of the travel restriction.

SOFC also funded $1,735 for Blue Devils United’s Triangle Queer Conference. Sophomore Belle Allmendinger said the group would focus on “political matters going with the 2020 elections.”

Zeta Phi Beta received $2,645 for a charity gala at the Duke Champions Club, and DSG also approved $3,350 for Latin dance group Sabrosura’s annual spring showcase. A Pitchforks-DUI Valentine’s Day Show received $1,613.16, and $5,747.75 was given to Duke Diya to bring an internationally acclaimed a cappella group to campus.

SOFC allotted $2,680 for DSG to host a Duke Student Mental Health Forum, which is meant to draw 300-400 students for a discussion.

In other business

The meeting saw the first reading of the revised DSG Constitution for 2020.

The new constitution is largely unchanged, except for “rearranging things to make it more readable and clarifying the organization,” said Executive Vice President Avery Boltwood, a senior. 

These clarifying measures are intended to enable Duke students to better navigate the DSG Constitution. 

“If anyone has a problem with something happening in DSG, they can more clearly reference the constitution,” Boltwood said.

In cabinet news, senior Alex Rubin, policy adviser of technology and innovation, is working to increase interaction between the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate Program and the student body. He is also trying to change the introductory computer science course to make it more interdisciplinary. 

Senior Deepti Agnithotri, director of disability rights and advocacy, is working to design a disability cultural center where Duke students with disabilities can gather and have conversations without feeling judged. 

Editor’s note: Deepti Agnihotri is also a special projects editor for The Chronicle.

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