SGA: Campus Climate Survey, Curriculum Changes, and Upcoming QSU Events

Dylan Slonka, Staff Writer

The Student Government Association meetings of October 24th and 31st discussed several different things that will impact student life in a positive way on campus.

On October 24th, the meeting proceeded with Christopher MacDonald-Dennis, MCLA’s Senior Advisor for Institutional Equity and Belonging, and Jason Canells, the Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Planning. They discussed the Campus Climate Survey, an anonymous online survey last conducted in 2017 that aims to gather student feelings about their campus environment. Allegedly, student concerns still have not been recognized, especially students of color.

“50 percent of black male students did not return after last year,” MacDonald-Dennis said.

This is disheartening for the college community and those it encompasses. The Campus Climate Survey this year will be a more intensive way to look at how students interact in this given environment, where difficult questions will be addressed. Faculty members intend to use the data generated by the survey to create a more welcoming and inclusive environment here on campus.

Executive Vice President Callista Motta noted that SGA members are still needed on the Textbook Equity Committee. The All-College Committee produced some curriculum changes that would affect students in those particular majors and concentrations. The Film concentration will be changed to Film and Visual Culture. History and Political Science majors will have access to a new course called Superheroes and Professional Society. Two new concentrations have also been added to the Political Science major: Pre-law and International Affairs.

The question of professors not having Canvas pages was brought up. Professors can decide if they want to have a Canvas page, but students in those courses will not be able to view their grades in that case. President Ian Crombie stated that Vice President Jeannette Smith would be notified of this problem as well as the All-College Committee.

Edgar Perez, the Senior Class President, noted that the old fitness center has been overtaken by the Multicultural Education Resource Center (MERC) to be the new MERC space. It had been voted on to receive funding by SGA in the last year to be a student space that was designed by students for their personal use. $50,000 was supposed to be allocated to redo the space, but that money never materialized, and neither did the space. The administration did not tell those in charge of creating this student space anything, and any other projects of this type will likely not move forward.

The meeting on October 31 did not have as much content, but guest speaker Ara Phoenixx, the Programming Coordinator for Gender and Sexuality, was present to discuss the Queer Student Union’s upcoming events for the month of November. Bringing awareness to what the QSU offers for students is pivotal in getting students to engage with the club. Their Transgender Awareness week is the week of November 14, and the Transgender Day of Remembrance will take place on November 20. QSU meetings in November will take place every Thursday from 6:30 to 8:30 PM and their Self-Defense Series will be taking place from November 11 to 13 from 7:30 to 9:30 PM.

SGA Meetings are open to anyone every Monday at 7:00 p.m. in the conference room of Murdock.