April 27, 2016

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Re-Examining the Student Assembly

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To the Editor:

It has become glaringly clear that the Student Assembly compositionally does not represent the current needs of students. Over the past couple of weeks, we have begun a conversation about the future structure of the Student Assembly. These conversations began when the Advocacy Committee within First in Class wrote a resolution to add a first-generation liaison at-large seat to the Student Assembly.  These conversations have been fueled by our constituents concern that our current system leaves students feeling as though their needs are not represented.

On April 7, we hosted the “Discussion on Restructuring.” “Discussion” does not mean that the opinion of one represents the opinion of all. This discussion, while informative, was only the first of many that will need to occur in order to determine the best system of representation. During this discussion students raised many valuable points including the fear that students who were elected to represent the interests of certain constituencies often didn’t pursue initiatives that reflected their needs.

One frustration with our current system is that the seats that encompass many different communities such as the Minority Liaison at Large and the Undesignated at Large seats have too many different communities within their purview. This causes the representatives to make extremely hard trade-offs of which pressing issue to tackle first.

  These forums are only the beginning. Our goal is to hear as many perspectives as possible and to hear feedback from our constituents on a wide array of ideas. We encourage students who are unhappy with the current system or by the way the current restructuring discussion is going to join the dialogue.

Jordan Berger ’17

Juliana Batista ’16

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