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DSG discusses future presenters, projects in short Senate meeting

In anticipation of the arrival of newly elected senators next week, the Duke Student Government Executive Board is organizing speakers and groups to present at their weekly meetings.

The first speaker in the series, discussed at Wednesday’s meeting of the DSG Senate, will be James Mason, an equal opportunity compliance investigator at the Office for Institutional Equity. He will be presenting a diversity, equity and inclusion training at the Wednesday senate meeting Sept. 16.

Mason began working at Duke in May 2020. According to the OIE website, he works to "investigate student sexual misconduct and complaints of discrimination, harassment, and related misconduct filed by students, faculty, and staff." Prior to working at Duke, Mason worked as a Title IX investigator at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well as the University of Minnesota.

In past years, DSG has mainly invited administrators to come and speak at their meetings to provide updates and expose senators to the different academic opportunities and events occurring on campus.

The push for student group speakers is a result of increasing "exposure" and "awareness" of the senators, said Executive Vice President Dina Qiryaqoz, a junior.

"Having administrator and student groups speak is very important," Qiryaqoz said. "Our senators, both old and new, will be able to get some exposure to all the different things going on on campus."

Senators will also be able to reach out and possibly collaborate with the student groups that present during DSG sessions.

Wednesday’s meeting lasted a mere 12 minutes, plus a short break due to technical difficulties. 

“Senate was shorter than usual because DSG and other groups are still adjusting to the new virtual formal everything must be in,” wrote Qiryaqoz, who ran the meeting, in an email, including a decrease in presentations and Student Organization Finance Committee legislation. 

The Senate is operating with half the usual number of senators, Qiryaqoz noted, making meetings shorter. 

Following the Sept. 9 meeting, the DSG executive team, which is composed of around 20 current students, will be joined by new senators on the Academic Affairs, Campus Life, Durham and Regional Affairs, Equity and Outreach, and Services and Sustainability committees. 

In other business

There will be a survey regarding a  project called The Food Point Exchange sent out by DSG to gauge interest. The project would allow students to send each other food points through an app. 

The SOFC approved a movement by the former Duke Association for the Middle East to change its official name to Juhood Magazine. The name change is due to the complications regarding the wording of 'Middle East,' according to Hadeel Hamoud, a junior and president of Juhood Magazine. 

"The wording is limiting due to the complexities of defining the Middle East… and our work deals with North Africa, East South Asia, and diasporas in all parts of the world," Hamoud said.

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