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Duke Student Government reviews potential changes to election procedures, constitution and by-laws

<p>DSG at their Sept. 22 meeting.</p>

DSG at their Sept. 22 meeting.

Duke Student Government senators reviewed proposed changes to their election procedures, the DSG Constitution and senate by-laws during their Wednesday meeting.

Ramya Ginjupalli, a senior and executive vice president, presented a first reading of the constitution’s changes with Devan Desai, a junior and president pro tempore. 

The proposed changes in the document would allow amendments to be proposed by a petition signed by 15% of the student body, compared to the 25% in previous years that made it difficult for amendments to succeed. Amendments will also be enacted when ratified by a referendum consisting of 15% of the student body participating.

“We’ve been struggling to get the constitution passed for as long as I remember; I don’t think we’ve done it since my freshman year, so this helps us amend the constitution in the future if it passes this year,” Ginjupalli said. 

The changes would remove the president pro tempore and SOFC chair from the voting members of the executive board and replace them with the cabinet chair. The executive branch of the organizational leadership would include the executive board, the SOFC chair, the president pro tempore, the chief justice and the associate vice presidents of the senate standing committees.

Ginjupalli and Desai also presented changes to the senate by-law. Changes included would increase the number of people on each committee from 55 to 60 by adding an associate vice president to each standing committee. The associate vice president will be selected from members of the previous year’s committee. 

Senators would also enact two at-large election processes–one in the fall and one in the spring. Other proposed changes included voting procedures to remove senators that must pass with a two-third majority of Senators present and voting, as well as the removal of a dress code. 

In Other Business

Senators allotted $9,308.55 for Duke Diya’s Chai-Town and $10,000 for the organization’s Hasan Minhaj speaker event. DSG also allocated $1,066.95 for the Duke Business Oriented Women’s Spring Business Conference. 

DSG Senators confirmed junior Nellie Sun as Attorney General and first-year Zara Thalji as a member of the board of elections. After Sun’s confirmation, she and Ginjupalli presented a review of DSG’s election statutes

Senators chartered Dating Devils, an organization arranges double-dates for students while raising funds for the nonprofit OneSight; Runway for Dreams, which will promote a space to empower students with disabilities in the fashion industry; and First Generation Investors, which seeks to educate Durham high school students about finance and investing fundamentals. 

Editor's note: This article was updated Friday to correct Ginjupalli and Desai's positions and clarify some of the organizational structure changes. There are still 50 senators in DSG, but including vice presidents there are 55 people on each committee. Adding associate vice presidents will not change the number of senators.


Audrey Wang | University News Editor

Audrey Wang is a Trinity sophomore and a university news editor of The Chronicle's 118th volume.

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