The Associated Students of Madison Student Council met Tuesday to reevaluate the number of seats freshmen hold on the Council.
Legislation was proposed in Student Judiciary to dissolve freshmen seats in ASM and reallocate seats to other bodies of students.
Student Council voted on whether or not to support Student Judiciary regarding keeping the freshmen seats.
Rep. Dylan Resch and others expressed their concerns for the liquidation of freshman seats.
Several representatives said freshmen are coming out and speaking on important topics more than they have in the past and have been showing up to vote in bigger numbers.
“I am scared that when we take away those seats, freshmen lose their voices on certain issues,” Resch said.
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Student Judiciary Chief Justice William Olson said over the years of ASM, freshmen have been given special treatment and seats on the council.
Freshmen should be on the council to look out for the incoming class, Rep. Iris Huang said.
“If freshmen aren’t on this council, we wont know if we are subject to conflict,” Huang said.
Freshman representatives Huang, Julia Warheit, Ethan Carpenter and Maggie Nead challenged the liquidation of the freshman seats because freshmen make up a large portion of student interest on the University of Wisconsin’s campus. With 5,000 freshman on campus, having only four seats available to them is not a large enough representation of the diversity of such a large group, Huang said.
Freshmen are also counted in their colleges that are represented on the Council, but if that freshman wanted to hold a seat, then they should have to go through the appropriate nominations, Resch said.
Other groups — like graduate students and the School of Business — currently have few representatives, Olson said.
“For further permanent solutions, move the elections to the fall so that freshman have an opportunity to get on to Council,” Resch said.
The legislation failed 8-13-1, and Student Council supports Student Judiciary in the liquidation of the freshmen representative seats.
Dean Lori Berquam and director of the Office of Compliance Cathy Trueba also spoke to the council regarding sexual harassment.
Online mandatory training on preventing sexual harassment and sexual violence launched in July 2017 in multiple languages and everyone from the chancellor to professors are required to take the training, Trueba said.
“We don’t want behaviors to be ignored, we want everyone to know that this is a problem,” Trueba said.
Correction: A previous version of this article stated Student Council condemned the actions of Student Judiciary. The article has since been updated to reflect the fact that the legislation failed, so Student Council supports the Student Judiciary on their decision to liquidate the freshmen representative seats. The Badger Herald regrets this error.