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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Better outreach for Presidential search, new Student of Color Caucus discussed at AS board meeting

A proposal for an Associated Employee Student of Color Caucus Space, and the lack of student involvement in choosing the next university president were the top items this week’s Associated Students board meeting, Nov. 4.

Xito Xican Conference: The meeting kicked off with Student’s Issues Resource Center coordinator Aleyda Cervantes proposing $575 donation from the board for the AS Social Issues Resource Center that would allow her to attend the Xito Xican conference. The conference, which strives to support the Latin community, stems from a lack of opportunities for teachers to improve their practices in meeting the needs of students of color, according to the agenda.

Cervantes, coordinator of the Social Issues Resource Center, hopes that attending the conference will provide her with new perspectives that she can bring back to Western that can improve the needs of the students of color. The money would come from the AS Operating Enhancement Fund as form of a grant in order to be able to attend to the conference.

The board approved the donation, 7-0.

AS Employee Student of Color Caucus Space: AS Vice President for Diversity Abby Ramos proposed that there is a targeted Color Caucus Space that will take place during each pre-quarter staff development, which are small, mandatory training sessions for all salaried AS employees.

This would allow for the AS students of color to have a time and a place to discuss their identity within the Associated Students. Although Abby is proposing a caucus for students of color, students of all identities would be allowed to attend, AS communications manager Sierra Tryon said in an email.

As the AS Vice President for Diversity, Ramos wants to see more students of color involved with the Associated Students.

“Currently in the AS there are only about 25 student of color employees out of more than 100 employees,” Ramos said.

Because of some risks the caucus would pose in relation to Titles VI and IX, it is under review by Nick Sanchez, Employment Inclusion Manager, and Sue Guenter-Schlesinger, Vice Provost for Equal Opportunity & Employment Diversity, Tryon said in an email.

The committee agreed to discuss the motion come the following meeting.

Search for a new University President: During the Board Reports, AS President Belina Seare, discussed the retirement of Western President Bruce Shepard and the hunt for his replacement.

Seare mentions that so far, there has yet to be much student involvement with the election process.

Ramos attended this week’s meeting to give students a voice in the process. Only around 5 to 8 students attended the meeting.

“In an email that they sent us, they said the feedback that they are getting is the way that they are creating the job description. So the fact that most of this feedback is going to be coming from admin and not from students means that the description is going to be towards admin and not towards students,” Ramos said.

The root of the problem seems to be from a lack of advertising. Few students have seen flyers around campus featuring the election meetings. Some at the meeting said they have received emails but do not find that to be the appropriate way to communicate such a heavy matter.

“I’m not comfortable seeing a president hired without students actually feeling comfortable with input,” Seare said.

The board agreed to discuss how to increase student’s awareness on the hiring process.

Other issues reviewed during the meeting include:

  • Students proposing to changethe mascot to be more diversified
  • Discussion concerning whether or not to include a personal essay with the application process 

 

With Veterans Day next Wednesday, Nov. 11, the following AS board meeting will be held on Nov. 18 in the Viking Union at 6 P.M.

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