By Katelynn Briere, SGA President, 2019-2020 and Brenna Broderick SGA Vice President, 2019-2020
To the editors,
On behalf of the Student Government Association, we wanted to provide an update about the changes following the Day of Learning and Reflection. The intention of the Day was to make our campus aware that racism is something that we discuss and address on campus. YES, we must improve for the next day of learning to make our impact match our intention. It was a student-led initiative designed to be the first short-term step in a process that will take continual care and prioritization. Student leaders realized that long-term, systematic change is also necessary. We are excited about the specific long-term initiatives that the Student Government Association developed this year. These initiatives were passed by the SGA Senate February 18th (50 yea, 0 nay, 0 abstain), and have been presented to President Sterritt. Following is a brief outline of what the SGA has asked for.
(1) Faculty and staff must undergo annual implicit bias training
(2) The President’s cabinet must expand to include an individual whose main purpose is to increase diversity and inclusion
(3) The position of Director of CMAS must be rehired and their main focus must be to address students’ needs.
(4) The staff of Bergeron Wellness Center must include more diversity.
(5) Human Resources must increasingly prioritize diversity and inclusion throughout all stages of the hiring process.
(6) The Bias Response Team must be reevaluated and reinvigorated.
The leadership of the SGA has already met with President Sterritt and before the COVID-19 emergency, movement on each demand had begun. The administration has confirmed their commitment to these student-driven initiatives. We are optimistic about the potential of these initiatives and urge students to continue to work towards greater inclusion and diversity on our campus with intention and respect.