Home Campus Student Senate discusses increased diversity acceptance measures and budget

Student Senate discusses increased diversity acceptance measures and budget

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Student Senate. Photo by Tim Zelina.

Ohio University Student Senate was presented with plans for a campaign to unite diversity and inclusion initiatives on campus at their Wednesday virtual meeting.

Dwayne Bruce, the interim assistant director of the Multicultural Center, and University of Communications and Marketing colleagues Aaron Harden and Sheldon Andrus, talked about the design and message of the university brand “Visible,” which will seek to foster conversations about the needs and challenges of Ohio U’s diverse communities.

The team also plans to revamp the Division of Diversity and Inclusion’s webpage and annual reports. 

“Visible” as well as the webpage and annual report revamps were driven by recent social movements following the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor — the team said they wanted to provide an authentic response to events caused by systemic and historical injustice.

“There needs to be a central landing place to really discuss diversity in Ohio, beyond just what’s happening in the division of diversity and inclusion,” Andrus said. “We are aiming as aspirationally as humanly possible to make diversity a conversation that should be happening at every level of the university, not just in the division itself, and the webspace is intended to become a central repository to celebrate that work and to celebrate those narratives and stories.” 

Bruce said he and his UCM colleagues want to alter these platforms to be places for students to find conversations and stories of what diversity at Ohio U looks like. A poster series and apparel concept were also proposed. 

Senate Treasurer Becky Ivan also delivered the Senate budget report and said because there are no events on the Athens campus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Senate has yet to use money saved in the UFund for events.

The Senate has already allocated 20 percent of their funding to three organizations: the Black Student Cultural Planning Board, the University Planning Council, and the International Student Union. Ivan explained that these organizations will receive the most funding because they host the most events at Ohio U.

The Student Senate appointed 12 new members. There are still vacancies in the Senate, however, and Jason Pina, the vice president of student affairs and the Student Senate faculty adviser, urged members to search for possible applicants they felt could accurately represent the student body.

Pina concluded the meeting by encouraging students to continue to stay diligent in wearing a mask and socially distancing to keep Athens’s COVID-19 case count low.

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