Two senators and two members were chosen by ASG Senate in a several-hour Senate session on Tuesday.
The four new representatives — Adrian Radilla for the Third District in Senate, Atticus Block in the College of Engineering and Computing academic seat in the Senate and Bradley Davis and James Gale on the Executive Council — were elected by a majority vote after a lengthy debate over a bureaucratic bill to alter the election process for student seats on the Board of Trustees, Student Affairs Council and University Senate.
The bill proposed several amendments to the relevant bylaws, including a controversial segment changing the Student Trustee Selection Committee from a fifteen-person group to a seven-person group.
Formerly, the committee included the student body vice president, secretary for academic affairs, secretary for diversity affairs and six at-large members selected by the student body president. SB 021596 replaces the vice president with the president and replaces the secretary for diversity affairs with an appointed representative from the Diversity Affairs Council.
It also proposes that the secretary for academic affairs and the six at-large members are removed entirely from the committee.
Senators primarily contested the lack of inclusion for an international student in the committee. International students make up nearly ten percent of the student body, Sen. Molly O’Donnell noted.
“It’s racist, honestly, to expect that the seven domestic students speak for all international students on this campus,” O’Donnell said.
Senators voted on two amendments to the bill to roll back the shrinking of the Student Trustee Selection Committee. The first proposed that the Secretary for Academic Affairs be restored to the committee; the second, that the position of a representative chosen by the Diversity Affairs Council Executive Board be replaced with the Secretary for Diversity Affairs.
The first suggested amendment was passed with only nine representatives voting against and six abstentions, including Parliamentarian Jack Fetick — an author of the initial legislation — and Sen. Austin Worrell, a former ASG cabinet member and current candidate for Oxford City Council.
The second proposed amendment failed, falling only two votes short of the 25-vote threshold for adding amendments to bills.
After the two amendments were debated — with the first added, and the second not — Senate compromised on the amended bill, choosing to table the selection committee changes until Sept. 26. The remaining portion of the bill, which modified the timing for nominations by the student body president, was passed.
A copy of draft legislation, revised this afternoon in a two-hour session, was obtained by The Student. In it, the secretary for academic affairs is reinstated; the secretary for diversity affairs is maintained (as opposed to the representative chosen by the Diversity Affairs Council, as the amendment dictated). Two at-large members — both of whom must be senators — are nominated and elected by the Senate and would be added to the council.
Though international student representation was a key issue in Tuesday’s debate, there is no guarantee in the bylaw amendment that the new at-large members will be international students. In exchange, the document offers, the chief of staff will solicit questions from the Senate to ask in the student trustee interviews. At least four of the questions will be asked by the chief of staff.