USG re-establishment vote to be held Sept. 8

Mercedes Ohlen, Staff Reporter

Tulane University undergraduate students will vote on Sept. 8 to re-establish Undergraduate Student Government, allowing students a chance to rebrand the organization after it was dismantled last year amidst accusations of homophobia, racism and sexism. 

The vote will take place on WaveSync. Students will receive an email which will be sent to their school accounts providing information and directions on how to participate.

According to a statement from USG interns Kalil Mosquera and Wendy Yang as well as Laura Osteen, assistant vice president for student affairs: “The newly established student government’s purpose is to act as the advocating body of the undergraduate students of Tulane University and to present their views and ideas surrounding their education and experience at Tulane to university administration.” 

Prior to the referendum, there will be a town hall in the Lavin Bernick Center to answer questions from students and provide more information. This will be held at 4 p.m. on Sept. 1.

The coalition had been meeting weekly to collaborate and brainstorm in order to “to recreate a healthier more equitable student governance structure,” Osteen, Wang and Mosquera said in a statement.

Last year, Osteen and undergraduate Reagan McKinney helped to establish the Guiding Coalition Committee. The coalition consists of at least six students, as well as former director of new student and leadership programs, Kourtney Gray, who has since left Tulane as a staff member. It is unclear who has stepped in to replace him within the coalition. The organization also brought in independent consultants who met with faculty and students in order to help guide the group. 

“We started with the feedback of students and the evaluation from an outside consulting company and wiped the page completely blank and started brand new,” Osteen, Wang and Mosquera said in a statement to The Hullabaloo. 

“All steps and drafts have been taken to ensure that the future of student governance is a positive one and also a future of growth and change still,” they said. “The referendum is merely the front door for student governance here at Tulane.” 

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