Diversity, recent incidents, center stage at SGA meeting

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Diversity was spotlighted at Friday’s meeting. Tami Martinez, assistant dean of Raclin School of the Arts, came to the recent Student Government Association (SGA) meeting to speak about diversity among IU South Bend. As a student in a PhD-program for higher education, one of Martinez’s core courses focuses heavily on diversity in universities.

After the SGA had a recent discussion focusing on an issue of a student receiving threats from another student because of their race, they invited Martinez to have a conversation about campus diversity.

IU South Bend’s student population is diversifying, with 25% of students enrolled in 2018 identifying as a minority, according to IUSB.edu.

Martinez encouraged the need to practice what we preach about diversity, and focus on recruitment and retainment of diverse students and faculty.

The SGA spoke about the incident that happened, and the encouraging outcome of it was that many students stood up for the student who was the victim.

Martinez stated that the threat assessment team is looking into the incident.

The issue however, brought up by members of the SGA was that there seems to be a disconnect of communication from administration to students.

Martinez then stated that IU South Bend administration spoke about diversity and how to handle hate speech against students at the beginning of the year. She stated that it was important that if a student felt unsafe or targeted to tell a faculty member that he or she trusts.

In light of the recent incident, Kevin Schasheck, SGA President, made a suggestion for a resolution in school policy that would protect victims of hate speech and threats. He stated that the SGA could possibly have victims not have to see their attacker on campus, thus providing them with a safer college experience.

The SGA also said that their internal committees, the civil rights and student engagement committee, would be working with Martinez in the future to help expand on diversity of the campus.

No funding requests were presented last Friday.

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