Student leaders urge students to vote on ASB Referendum
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The Tulane University Student Government is urging students to vote on the ASB Referendum to restructure student government at Tulane.
If students vote yes, the Associated Student Body President position will be removed. If students vote no, the current student government structure will remain in place.
The ASB President position, typically filled by an undergraduate student, was designed to bridge the gap between the Undergraduate Student Government and the Graduate and Professional Student Association. The position, however, does not have clear roles or responsibilities.
Administration calls upon the ASB President to serve as a voice for all Tulane students. The removal of this position would allow the USG President and the GAPSA President to jointly serve as that voice.
Current ASB President Paige Wulff, who was elected in March 2016 for a 12 month term, will complete her term. If students vote yes to the ASB Referendum, there will not be an election in March 2017 for a new ASB President.
“Immediately after I was elected, I knew that something had to change with the position in order to increase communication between undergraduate and graduate students,” Wulff said.
According to Wulff, after conversations with USG President Autumn Gibbons and GAPSA President Nick Fears, as well as members of Tulane staff, administration and other Tulane students, they decided it would be best to remove the ASB President position in the future.
Aside from aiding in communication between USG and GAPSA, this referendum would return around $30,000 to USG and GAPSA.
USG President Autumn Gibbons says she is extremely confident that the removal of the ASB President position will increase student voices and representation and can boost the overall student government experience at Tulane.
“As USG President, I have found my avenue and voice to the administration to be confusing at points because of the unclear role of ASB President,” Gibbons said. “I represent the undergraduate opinion and Nick Fears represents the graduate voice and therefore by removing the ASB President it allows for us to do our job more clearly and allow for more direct communication.”
In order to propose this referendum, the new ASB constitution and the proposal to remove the president position was approved by USG, GAPSA, an ASB Joint Session of both houses, the Student Affairs Committee of University Senate and University Senate.
After the referendum, if a majority of students say yes, it still must be approved by the Board of Trustees.
“The ASB Constitution Referendum is an important opportunity for the entire student body to engage in the process of reforming their government to fit the current needs of the student body,” Fears said.
Students can vote at tulane.it/ASBvote until 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 9.