Senate Speaks on Diversity and Professionalism

Heidi Voigt

Sunday’s Senate meeting gave a new meaning to diversity and inclusion as Chris Davila, the head of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, asked Senate to think of these topics in a broader sense.

“When we think about being diverse and inclusive, oftentimes we think about what we have to do personally, like I need to not be racist or I need to not be sexist … but the true power of inclusive excellence really comes from policy change,” said Davila.

This was seen recently with the changes to the Intercultural Center. Policy change led to the removal of the majority of old couches and the installation of the tables which currently occupy the space. Davila explained that the room was essentially a nap area before the remodel, and his office set out to create a more welcoming study area. Ultimately, a space should inform the user of the room’s function.

Later in the meeting, Vice President Monica Boyer informed the Senate that her professional clothing drive has found a space in Science 1207. The object of this project is to collect professional clothing that students could either borrow for one time events such as interviews or keep for longstanding needs. Boyer is working to organize a fall clothing drive to start the collection.

The results of the Senate sponsored dining survey were announced. Of the 137 surveyed on the Greenview Dining Room, 84% wished there were more vegetable options, 77.4% requested to-go bags for busy students, and 81.5% asked for extended hours. 84.8% of those surveyed wished that freshmen had more options for meal plans. Senate plans to summarize the information into a report for dining services.

Two existing Senate positions are on their way to becoming paid as the Senate voted to pass the stipend resolutions for the Title IX Chair and the Diversity and Inclusion Chair to Internal Affairs. The positions are proposed to receive $100 and $500 per semester and were passed by a 32-2-0 vote and a 32-1-1 vote respectively. The Title IX chair is set to work only 10 outside hours a semester.

Earlier in the meeting, the Chem/Biochem club requested $250 for a holiday event. They plan to provide refreshments to those who attend their ornament making event. This passed with a 34-0-0 vote. The unbudgeted request leaves the fall semester general fund at $2,394.33.