SU passes Black Caucus Expansion Act, appoints election commissioner
Student Union (SU) passed the Black Caucus Expansion Act and appointed a new election commissioner in an emergency joint session, Aug. 27.
The Black Caucus Expansion Act, effective immediately, will expand the Black Caucus to operate within all entities of Student Union, beyond just Senate. The act was passed unanimously in the Senate and Treasury.
The Black Caucus was previously designed to allow Black students in Senate to discuss and advocate for issues pertaining to the Wash. U. Black community. The new legislation prioritizes making sure that SU “institutes and maintains an effective and positive relationship between the University and its Black constituency.”
Holding the emergency session before next Tuesday’s meeting allowed for the Expansion Act to be officially in place before Friday’s SU Activities Fair.
“We wanted the Black Caucus to be able to be something that the University could be proud of, and that we could show incoming first-years, but also every other community on campus, to show them that there was a platform for minority groups and being able to do that for an event that’s University sponsored and that has such high publicity was a really big goal,” sophomore treasurer Raiyan Hamilton, who presented the bill, said.
Hamilton also believes that the expansion will enhance open dialogue within SU.
“Having the Black Caucus and being able to speak with other members of SU who self-identify as Black is going to be able to really bring some awareness,” Hamilton said. “The whole is greater than the sum of all the parts, so being able to be in that position and to be able to say ‘This is where we’re lacking, let’s fix that, let’s bring people in.’ Or even working from inside, just saying ‘Hey, this is why some people are wanting to leave because they are feeling like this issue isn’t being spoken to or because this community on campus, or this culture group isn’t feeling like they’re being listened to.’”
The nominee for election commissioner, junior Randal Walker, was also confirmed unanimously in both Senate and Treasury.
She applied for the position with the goal of including increasing voter outreach and turnout, specifically within the freshman class. Her ideas included collecting feedback from constituents and tabling on the South 40.
“I really want to push for higher voter turnout because [the low turnout in the last election] really did bother me in the spring,” Walker said. “It became a passion months ago, and now that I have a chance to really get in there and do it myself, because you can talk all you want, but until you get in there and try it out, then you can’t really say anything.”