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VP of diversity and inclusion proposes workout space for those seeking more privacy

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Dr. Gigi Secuban, Ohio University's Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion spoke following President Nellis.

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story alluded the new workout space at Ping Recreational Center would be exclusive to minorities. This is not true. It has been updated to reflect that the space will be open to all students seeking more privacy. Other reports referencing this post without this distinction are therefore misleading and false. We apologize to our readers for this error.

The vice president of diversity and inclusion and the student health insurance administrator talked to Senate about minority representation and student health care.

Student Senate discussed student health care and diversity inclusion at the body’s Wednesday night meeting.

Senate opened with a presentation from Gigi Secuban, the vice president of Diversity and Inclusion. She informed the Senate of various proposals to increase minority representation in different parts of the Ohio U community.

Secuban mentioned a plan to turn one of the racquetball courts at Ping Recreation Center into a workout room aimed at the interests of sexual assault survivors or people with special religious accommodations. The room would still be available to all students, however. 

Secuban met with Graduate Student Senate and representatives from Ping to organize the plan.

“Not a lot of people play racquetball, so there’s tons of racquetball space, so it’s one of those places we’re going to recondition,” Secuban said.

Secuban also proposed that professors respect students’ religious observances and not penalize them for missing class during those observances, and that the city of Athens designate a specific space for candlelight vigils.

In response to a question about gender-neutral bathrooms, Jason Pina, the Vice President of Student Affairs, said all future renovations to campus buildings will include gender-neutral bathrooms.

Pina said the university is planning to build a new building for health communications and engineering; both buildings will have gender-neutral bathrooms.

Secuban’s final proposal was to move the LGBT Center to a new, larger building at some point early next semester.

Following Secuban was Anna Castell, the student health insurance administrator, who gave a presentation on the insurance plan provided by the university.

Castell said the Student Health Insurance Committee changed its policy to allow international students to waive the university’s health insurance. Previously, most international students could not waive the fee, except in certain specific instances.

Castell also said that students using Ohio U’s health insurance can now expedite the enrollment process through ECI services, an independent organization that verifies the insurance accounts. This allows those students to obtain their insurance ID card earlier.

Castell also announced the results of the university’s health insurance options survey. The purpose of the survey was to determine if students wanted their health insurance to cost less in general, but cost more if used, or cost more in general, but cost less if used. The survey overwhelmingly indicated that a majority wanted to keep the current health insurance rate.

In response to a discussion about a possible health plan “crash-course,” Castell said these events typically draw low turnout.

“Nobody’s really interested until they have to use it,” Castell said.

Senate also appointed three new senators and discussed a resolution to ban SAC funding for religious events that aren’t open to the public.

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