Senators affirmed frustration felt by marginalized student groups at Duke Student Government’s Wednesday meeting.
DSG passed a resolution addressing a lack of adequate campus space for marginalized communities, prompted by the University’s decision to move the Career Center into the Bryan Center. This resolution was introduced by senior Matthew Ralph; first-years Zara Thalji, Clay Thornton, Priyanshi Ahuja and Kunmi Ojo; sophomore Selena Halabi; junior Thomas Shen and senior Ryan Trombly.
DSG’s goal was to support “unanswered demands by marginalized groups for more space on campus,” the resolution says.
Duke Student Affairs’s plans to move the Career Center into the office space at the top of the Bryan Center were made “without the solicitation of any student input and in direct contradiction to past statements made to student groups, including those to the Senate,” the resolution reads.
“There really were no avenues for us to sort of, you know, have a discussion in that, because it was a decision that was already made, already told to the Career Center, already told to Student Affairs, that really had no student leadership in,” said Ralph, who is the vice president of equity and outreach.
In the most recent DSG survey on the topic sent to all undergraduates, only 71 of the 502 students who responded preferred the vacated space to be occupied by the Career Center, while 305 students “indicated an interest in a combination of either the Center for Multicultural Affairs, Disability Cultural Center, Student Disability Access Office, Women’s Center, International House, and/or a Religious Space,” the resolution reads.
The document addressed the leadership of Student Affairs, calling for leaders to “immediately suspend” their decision to move the Career Center, “conduct an audit of all Bryan Center space with the solicitation of student and student group input,” including identity groups, and “give priority in further excisions to groups that currently have no or wholly inadequate spaces.”
The resolution also strongly recommends that “consideration be seriously made towards vacating other non-student-facing offices on all levels of the Bryan Center.”
In Other Business
DSG treasurer Ahana Sen, a senior, presented the mid-semester treasurer update, which summarized the types of accounts under the treasury, the payment request process and types of payment requests, and spending regulations.
DSG confirmed their newest first-year Student Organization Finance Committee analysts, first-years Ayanna Chatman, Giovanni Cutri, Aditya Raj and Andrew Sun.
Senators also chartered Phi Alpha Delta, a new pre-law fraternity; the Healthy Hands Initiative, a non-profit hoping to provide clean water solutions to the Bokaro district of northeast India, and Duke bioSTEMs, an organization that builds mentor-student relationships between Duke students and underserved high schooler with an interest in life sciences.
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DSG approved $3,450 for the Hindu Students Association’s Diwali event.
Additionally, Senators approved the Pilot Projects budgetary statute introduced by senior and chief of staff Shrey Majmudar, allotting $2,500 from DSG’s general fund code to the DSG Pilot Projects fund code for coffees or lunches with students, student group leaders and staff members.
Senators also ratified the Duke University Student Dining Advisory Committee Budgetary Statue introduced by Sen, allocating $125 to the DSG Executive Board to purchase a joint Canva Pro subscription.
Audrey Wang is a Trinity first-year and a staff reporter for the news department.