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Undergraduate Senate condemns Interfraternity Council event in first summer meeting

Senate Meeting.png
Reeves Moseley

The Undergraduate Senate looked ahead to fall semester and passed multiple items of legislation at its first full meeting of the summer Tuesday, including a resolution in support of the Campus Y’s statement regarding a controversial Interfraternity Council event.

Student Body President Reeves Moseley updated the Senate about meetings he has had with Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz and other University staff about precautions for returning to campus in the fall and questions and concerns students have about reopening campus. 

Moseley also spoke about plans for voter registration efforts in the fall and a cross-collaboration mental health initiative with Duke University and N.C. State University.

Speaker of the Undergraduate Senate Keshav Javvadi encouraged senators to use the summer and period of isolation during the pandemic to interact with their constituents.

“I challenge you to engage with your constituents and get a better sense of what they want,” he said. “At the end of the day, that’s why we’re here.”

Campus Y IFC Statement

In a 13-0 vote with one abstention, the Senate voted to adopt a resolution in support of the Campus Y’s statement regarding an Interfraternity Council event in February at which keynote speaker David Hagan made statements that student leaders have criticized as offensive and misogynistic. 

“This issue has been met with a lot of complacency from the IFC and its respective fraternities regarding this event,” said joint governance council member-at-large Collyn Smith, who introduced the resolution. “We have a responsibility as Senate to address this and show where we stand on this.”

The resolution establishes that the Senate stands in solidarity with survivors of sexual violence and condemns Hagan’s language and actions, as well as the complacency of the IFC.

Campus Y Co-President Thilini Weerakkody was also present at the meeting to give her perspective on the issue.

“We believe that it’s really important to address these issues and open a larger conversation and acknowledge the pain that they caused,” she said.

Eliminating dual service prohibition

Rules and judiciary chairperson Baxter Barrett presented a bill to eradicate the dual service prohibition clause for non-leadership positions. The bill allows senior advisors and executive branch committee chairpersons to serve on external appointments. 

External appointments refer to positions on committees that are not part of student government but serve certain campus organizations, such as Student Television.

Javvadi said students are appointed to these positions to ensure student fees are being used appropriately.

Finance chairperson Aashna Shukla proposed an amendment to the bill that would exclude cabinet chairpersons from holding additional external appointments other than the ones they are already assigned. 

Vice President Pree Rao raised concerns about excluding cabinet chairpersons.

“At this time, I don’t personally feel comfortable limiting the executive branch cabinet co-chairs from being able to sit on certain external appointments until we work out what we think the appropriate assignments are for cabinet co-chairs in regards to external appointments,” she said. 

The amendment failed and the original bill was passed unanimously.

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