Duke Student Government Senators welcomed the newest additions to its ranks during its first full Wednesday meeting of the fall 2021 term.
In addition to providing an orientation for 10 first-year senators and 35 at-large senators, the Senate gave caucus reports and swore in nominees for other positions.
Following roll call, the 10 DSG executive members introduced themselves to the new Senators.
“This was the most competitive year we’ve seen in a really, really long time and with more candidates and applicants than ever,” said senior and DSG president Christina Wang in her opening speech.
Cabinet members also gave brief introductions to their roles in the organization and answered questions from the rest of DSG, ranging from archived transportation projects to cabinet members’ favorite ice cream flavors. Cabinet Chief-of-Staff Shrey Majmudar, a senior, said that the cabinet is working to become more integrated into DSG.
“We’re working to change [from a project-based model] this year to more of an advocacy model,” Majmudar said. “In essence what that means is all of the cabinet members this year will be working with respective student groups and students in different areas to really hear what their concerns are and leveraging Duke Student Government across the board to make positive change.”
Following confirmation by a majority vote, senior and chief justice Weston Lindner administered the oath of office to the cabinet members. Lindner also confirmed newly elected Senators, as well as at-large Senators to their respective committees—Academic Affairs, Campus Affairs, Durham and Community Affairs, Equity and Outreach, and Services and Sustainability.
In Other Business
Sexual Harassment and Assault Prevention and Education leaders presented to DSG on its organization’s mission and progress, which is to “fundamentally eradicate sexual violence in the Duke community” through its five project teams—marketing, Greek life, athletics, outreach, and group education.
“Often we kind of look at [on-campus sexual assault and harassment] like it’s this invisible mountain; that it’s everywhere and nowhere at the same time,” said senior Eden Schumer, founder and co-director of SHAPE.
A relatively new organization, SHAPE expanded on SHAPE Week, an event last held February 2020 meant to encourage campus-wide dialogue on sexual violence. The group seeks to expand its numbers, currently accepting new members until Sept. 30.
During this busy session, the Student Organization Finance Committee also chartered and recognized multiple student organizations.
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Senators chartered KIDS Vote, a nonpartisan organization that educates grade-school children about voting and voting rights around the world, as well as Brain Injury Awareness Club, a group meant to spread awareness about and engage in community outreach on brain injuries.
SOFC also recognized SHAPE following its leadership’s presentation on the organization, and the body re-chartered United Black Athletes, which seeks to advocate for Black student athletes’ rights in the Duke and Durham community.
Senators allocated $6,120 to the Gatekeepers for their DevilsGate event.
Sophomore Davey Frankel was confirmed as the SOFC DuArts representative, and senior Alice Zhou was confirmed as the SOFC vice chair of new groups.
Audrey Wang is a Trinity first-year and a staff reporter for the news department.