UGBC Passes Amendments Concerning Study Abroad, Diversity and Inclusion

The Student Assembly (SA) of the Undergraduate Government of Boston College passed amendments on Tuesday night allowing SA representatives to serve virtually from abroad, and requiring them to attend at least two diversity and inclusion events each year they are in office. 

“This is only the beginning of our commitment to campus as representatives of the student body,” Jhon De La Cruz, first-generation representative and MCAS ’22, said of the proposed amendments.

The first amendment, which alters the UGBC Standing Rules, removes the requirement for SA candidates to run with a partner if they plan on studying abroad while they are in office.

According to the original rules, if an SA representative is studying abroad for one semester of their term, a co-candidate would fill in their position while the member is abroad. But with technology like Zoom, members can virtually fulfill their responsibilities “fully and faithfully” from anywhere in the world, the amendment reads.

Under the amendment, normal impeachment procedures will remain in place should a member fail to carry out these duties, and the Office of Student Involvement still has the right to set the beginning and end dates of their terms. 

Dennis Wieboldt, SA parliamentarian and MCAS ’22, responded to criticisms that it may be too difficult for members to carry out their duties while studying abroad.

“The Elections Committee will also make that known to people that in a totally virtual format it is going to be difficult to complete all of their duties,” Wieboldt, who sponsored the amendment, said. “But I am not necessarily sure that we should preclude people in advance, especially people who are motivated and who go through the election process.”

The second amendment, which pertained to the UGBC Constitution, requires all SA members to attend at least two diversity and inclusion events during each of their years in office, at least one per semester.

“Of these two events, one must be sponsored by the Diversity & Inclusion Council and one must be sponsored by a non-Undergraduate Government organization, such as, but not limited to, the Thea Bowman AHANA+ and Intercultural Center,” the amendment reads.

Each permanent division and standing committee of UGBC is responsible for tracking the attendance of its members at diversity and inclusion events, and it is up to the divisions and committees to determine the appropriate evidence for proving attendance.

The amendment came in response to the vandalism on the women’s Multicultural Learning Experience floor of Xavier Hall earlier this semester, according to De La Cruz.

Jack Bracher, president-elect of UGBC and MCAS ’22, voiced his support for the amendment.

“How can we expect students to go to events when we don’t go to events ourselves,” Bracher said. “I think this is a step in the right direction. My hope is that by requiring it, this then becomes the culture.”

Featured Image by Vikrum Singh / Heights Editor

March 12, 2021

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