DSG senators hear presentation from Office of Climate and Sustainability, elect chief financial officer

Duke Student Government senators heard a special presentation from the Office of Climate Sustainability, approved SOFC funding and elected a new chief financial officer at their Wednesday meeting.  

Senators also passed reforms to the senate and executive bylaws. These reforms changed the name of the senate president pro tempore to the speaker of the senate and outlined the addition of two new positions — the chief of financial operations and the chief of operations. 

SOFC Chair and junior Ayanna Chatman won an election for the new CFO position. She hopes to bridge the gap between SOFC, DSG and student organizations by providing educational materials for DSG and student organizations on how to access funding.

Office of Climate and Sustainability presentation

The Office of Climate and Sustainability presented its initiatives throughout the current academic year and its future plans for the next year. In recent months, the office revisited its internal definition of climate sustainability and reflected on equitable teaching practices for climate sustainability.

The office has begun planning the next iteration of its climate action plan which was most recently updated in 2019.

During the 2024-25 academic year, the office plans to host a showcase at Duke to bring together interdepartmental researchers addressing climate sustainability. The office also presented plans to attend Climate Week NYC.

The office addressed possible student and faculty misconceptions surrounding the amount of work the office is doing, stating that its efforts to coordinate communication surrounding its work has not been as effective as it would like. The office is “almost done with the hiring process” for a new director of communications to address this issue.

Committee updates

The campus life committee met with administrators on their proposal for airport transportation services, which was well received. The committee also shared updates on its work to implement more outdoor seating across campus and improve resources for students planning to study abroad.

The Durham and community affairs committee is currently reforming the Good Neighbor Initiative and working on bylaws for the new proposed DSG affiliate body Small Town Student Coalition. The committee has also sent out its service transportation survey to all organizations and met with Kevin Hoch, deputy director for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, to continue work on the Small Business Handbook connecting student organizations with local businesses.

The equity and outreach committee sent out its Duke Life survey and is finalizing its current projects providing support for undocumented students on campus.

The services and sustainability committee provided updates on continued logistics for FROSH 101 and reflected on its work increasing price transparency in the Lobby Shop and improving napping spaces on campus.

The academic affairs committee noted that it continued work on its “mayor project” and hopes to increase student turnout at town halls to make them more “interactive.” 

In other business

DSG senators allocated $2,000 to United in Praise for a gospel concert performed by outside performers. The group initially requested $6,000 to pay performers for dress rehearsals and the performance. Per SOFC policies, outside performers can not be paid for dress rehearsals so the group’s allocated funding was cut to $2,000.

Senators heard an amendment that would change the way groups can apply to be an affiliate of DSG by offering an application window instead of allowing groups to apply on a rolling basis. 

The amendment would also remove inactive affiliates and add three new affiliates: Duke Partnership for Service, the Parking and Transportation advisory committee, and the Small Town Rural Coalition.

Ana Despa | Associate News Editor

Ana Despa is a Pratt sophomore and an associate news editor for the news department.


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