DSG senators talk avoiding bias with assistant VP for campus life, approve over $57,000 for student org events

<p>Duke Student Government Senate at their Sept. 21, 2022 meeting.</p>

Duke Student Government Senate at their Sept. 21, 2022 meeting.

Duke Student Government senators heard from Bobby Kunstman, Duke's assistant vice president for campus life, about the importance of viewpoint neutrality when it comes to making decisions and allocating SOFC funds at their Wednesday meeting.

“You all are very much responsible for how you spend money and how you make law,” Kunstman said to the senators. He discussed the importance of making “content-neutral” decisions and supporting free expression on campus.

Junior Shreya Joshi, DSG vice president of campus life, asked Kunstman about how DSG Senate can operate with viewpoint neutrality. 

“What's often out of sight [and] out of mind is your own governing documents,” he responded, citing the DSG’s constitution and bill of rights as guides for making decisions without bias.

“What’s key is when you have the power to change the rules, how do you also make sure you're following a process that keeps all students to say ‘Actually, we may not like it. But you did it as fair to people as possible,’” he asked.

In other business

Junior Ashley Bae, vice president of services and sustainability, announced a vigil for the Michigan State University shooting next Tuesday, Feb 21 from 6 to 7 p.m. outside the Duke Chapel.

Senator Sophie Smith, a junior, reported on discussions with the Housing and Residential Life Office about reforming the roommate assignment process. Potential changes include revising roommate matching algorithm, checking roommate pairings manually and allowing for students to opt to room with people from experiential orientation.

Senators allocated $9,555 for Duke Conservation Tech’s Blueprint Ideation Conference on March 25-26, $7,865.14 for East Asian Nexus’ Duke-UNC China Leadership Summit on March 24, $7,250 for Duke Sports Business Conference on Feb. 24, $7,140 for Asian Student Association’s Converge on Feb. 18, $6,150.97 for DefMo’s Showcase on April 22 and $5,750 for Duke Students for Justice in Palestine’s Nemah Hasan Concert on March 8.

The senators also approved $3,390 for Ciceronian Society’s Conversation with Former Attorney General John Ashroft on April 4, $3,101.55 for Deja Blue’s Women's Month Showcase on March 1, $2,685 for Duke Dewaana’s South Asian Music Appreciation Festival on March 24, $2,229 for Duke Association for Business Oriented Women’s Spring Business Conference on Feb. 24 and $2,195 for Duke Swing Dance Club’s Swingin' Under the Stars on March 3.

DSG chartered STEM Pre-Professional and Undergraduate Research Society, Women Wellness Club and Black Arts Collective, and recognized Black Pre-Law Society.

Senou Kounouho profile
Senou Kounouho | University News Editor

Senou Kounouho is a Pratt sophomore and a university news editor of The Chronicle's 119th volume.


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