Letter to the Editor: ASG Ad Hoc Committee

Letter to the Editor: ASG Ad Hoc Committee

To the students of Northwestern University,
ASG needs your help. The Associated Student Government is meant to serve as the conduit between the student body and the university. It is a tool by which students, members of ASG, and administrators come together to understand the perspectives of others and carry out consensus-based action to improve our community. However, ASG has struggled recently in achieving this purpose. Our Senators, in particular, are charged with the responsibility of advocating for their constituents; but Senate has been operating as trustee for student voices without students’ trust.
That is why we are asking for input from the entire student body.
We want to hear from you–what do you want your student government to look like? Who should represent you, and how can they best do so?
Senate is currently comprised of 51 Senators who are divided into 4 caucuses. These caucus divisions are problematic in the ways they overlap, and often go unfilled. Senate also struggles with issues of representation within its current roster, which often changes due to internal vacancies and varied systems of appointment.  Senators do their job admirably, but it is nearly impossible to ask for representative due diligence if their constituent communities are unclear in identity or purpose. For these reasons, Senate is failing to accurately represent perspectives outside the status quo. Senate has become an echo chamber, instead of a deliberative body designed to use its discourse and debate to fight for those who need it.

While there have been flashes of positive growth over the last couple of years, Senate is in dire need of representative reform to reinvigorate its place at Northwestern. Acknowledging this, the Senate has authorized our committee to dig deep and offer an alternative new model for our student governance. Our committee intends to make Senate a space which speaks for all of our constituents and reflects the breadth of their experience at Northwestern. We believe that by reforming Senate, it can become the platform for positive change that student government is intended to be. But we need your voices in order to make this solution effective and enduring.
If you have ever felt that Senate does not represent you, if you have ever wondered what the Senate’s purpose is, if you have ever been frustrated by Senate’s decisions, then this is an opportunity, a platform, for you to help ASG reform the Senate for now and in perpetuity. Please email if you are interested in joining our committee, or if you have ideas to improve Senate. Reforming Senate is the beginning of a larger conversation about how to improve students’ experience. We plan to hold public hearings next quarter in addition to submitting standards for decorum of your ASG representatives on the presidential ballot.
Northwestern Associated Student Government


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