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Duke Student Government prepares for elections, conducts readings of by-laws

<p>DSG at its Nov. 3 meeting.</p>

DSG at its Nov. 3 meeting.

Duke Student Government senators reviewed election procedures and conducted a reading of its statutes and by-laws at their weekly Wednesday meeting. 

Polls are open for 24 hours starting Thursday, March 3 at noon. Ballots will be sent to undergraduate students’ emails when polls open, and students will have the opportunity to vote for DSG president and executive vice president. 

Two new referendums passed by the senate will also be up for consideration on Thursday’s ballot. One involves constitutional changes, while the other proposes adding a question about fossil fuel divestment to the DSG executive ballot. The constitutional referendum requires a 25% student body turnout, while the divestment referendum requires 15%. 

Chief of Staff Devan Desai, a junior, and Executive Vice President Ramya Ginjupalli, a senior, led a second reading of the University Committee by-laws, which passed.

The University Committee by-laws dealt with DSG’s power to nominate students for appointments to University committees. According to the by-laws, a University committee is any “committee council, board, task force or other body that is established by a proper authority within Duke University, falls outside DSG’s direct jurisdiction and control” and is not mentioned explicitly in certain clauses of the by-laws.

Instead of the current application process, the DSG president will now recommend students from the undergraduate body if “deemed appropriate for the role.” Senators will confirm the nominees. 

Ginjupalli and Desai also held a first reading of the executive by-laws. Proposals included changing the process by which cabinet members are nominated by student groups. 

In other business

Ginjupalli and Desai led a review of the DSG election statute in preparation for the upcoming executive elections.

DSG senators confirmed sophomore Bea De Oliveira as the new Student Organization Finance Committee chair.

Senators allocated $4,000 for the Duke Wind Symphony’s 47th Annual Viennese Ball, $3,359.70 for Embodiment Contemporary Dance’s showcase, $3,924 for Duke Jewish Student Union’s B'nai Mitzvah celebration, $3,525 for Lambda Theta Alpha’s St. Jude Charity Ball and $2,826 for StreetMed’s spring workshop with Sorah Yang.

DSG senators recognized the Biology Majors Union, which acts as an intermediary between the biology department and students, as well as Body Banter, an organization that hopes to create a safe space for destigmatizing conversations about body image and mental health.

Senators also chartered Club Softball; Pocket Musician, which cultivates relationships with residents of senior centers through musical performances; and [the space bar], an organization that aims to nurture and inform a community of tech-enthusiasts. 

DSG also approved changing TedxDuke’s status from recognized to chartered.


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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