ISS pushes back discussion of ‘Queer Studies’

By Andrew Maloney

Wednesday night’s Illinois Student Senate meeting was a bit more subdued than it had been in previous weeks.

Some items – like a resolution discussing the potential addition of a “Queer Studies” minor – were taken off the agenda at the beginning of the meeting, and their absence may have led to relatively less discussion.

Vikram Chaudhery, vice president external of the senate, said the item was not reviewed by the senate’s Committee on Academic Affairs before the meeting and therefore could not be voted on.

“It was supposed to be reviewed Sunday, and they were unable to have the meeting because of Thanksgiving Break,” Chaudhery said. “But it would have had some contention. A lot of senators did not like the name ‘Queer Studies,’ and a lot of people are just not comfortable with the term.”

Bradley Tran, treasurer for the senate, added that the approach of semester finals may have also contributed to the lower level of discussion.

Despite the subtraction of other items, one piece of legislation that was voted on was an appropriation for the upcoming conference for the Association of Big Ten Students. The event is a biannual gathering of student governments from Big Ten schools, and with the University hosting the next conference in January, the student senate voted to allot $4,000 toward hotel accommodations for visiting representatives.

“The goal is to improve student government through interaction,” Tran said after Wednesday’s meeting. “The whole thing is really a big discussion about synergy and learning from other governments.”

Tran said the last school to host the event was Penn State this past summer. He said he was excited about the number of schools that have agreed to participate the weekend of Jan. 16.

“I believe we have really only two schools that don’t think they’re able to make it this time,” said Tran. “I think there were three or four at Penn State.”