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ASUA Notebook: Senators Continue to Discuss Implementation of Diversity Classes

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(Illustration by Pascal Albright)

The Associated Students of the University of Arizona met on Wednesday, Nov. 4 via Zoom to discuss allocating funds, the progress for the implementation of new diversity classes and the possible collaboration with a new mental health group. 

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Campus Closet Appeals For Funds

During the call to the audience, Grace Jacobson, a coordinator for Campus Closet, came to appeal to ASUA for funds. 

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Campus Closet has had a successful year, growing immensely. They’ve helped over 30 faculty and students at each of the distributions, giving out 80-100 items per distribution as well. With such an influx of items, they have run out of supplies and are looking to expand their storage. 

They are looking to purchase two new storage bins for their shoe inventory, three new clothing racks and a shoe rack, which they are hoping will be useful to them for years to come. While they do have a $1,000 budget for the year, with funds still left, this would significantly deplete their yearly budget, which is why they are asking for help from ASUA. 

The last distribution is Nov. 19, so Campus Closet is hoping that ASUA will be able to approve the allocation of these funds as soon as possible. The senate will be deciding next week if they will be approving the funds, but the overall consensus at the meeting was that the funds will be approved. 

Updates on Campus Closet can be found on their Instagram page and their website

Updates On Implementation of New Diversity Classes 

Last week during the Oct. 28 meeting, Dr. Ivy Banks, UA’s new Vice Provost of Diversity and Inclusion, came to speak about moving forward with the implementation of the new diversity courses that would focus more on educating on diversity and inclusion in specific colleges and majors. The senators were encouraged to get in contact with their colleges and deans to discuss the logistics of these classes. 

This week, Sen. Ally Devereux of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences gave an update on her college, saying they were on board and already have a DEI committee that would be interested in taking the next steps to implementing these types of specialized diversity classes. 

Sen. Ella Wood of the College of Education said that her college echoed these same thoughts after she had a discussion with the dean and Dean’s Advisory Committee, waiting for further updates and to form a committee with Dr. Banks to move forward with this. Other senators will be speaking to their deans and colleges soon. 

“This will...take pressure off of Gen Eds and make courses that are implemented into major/college courses, looking at a much more granular level instead of blanket classes...more like what is this going to look like for our college, not just the whole university...how are we filling in those gaps and improving on it,” said Sen. Jack Haskins of the College of Fine Arts, explaining the idea behind these courses. 

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Working With New Mental Health Group

Wood gave a presentation on possibly working with a non-partisan, small, grassroots national organization and movement called Project LETS, which stands for Let’s End The Stigma. 

Project LETS is “led by and for people with lived experience of mental illness, disability, trauma, and neurodivergence”. The purpose of the group is to be there for students that are struggling with these problems and help deescalate a mental health crisis before it happens. 

This program could be used at UA or host for members/presidents of clubs to help educate students across campus. The program that would be used is called Disability Justice on Campus, a training workshop that Project LETS could tailor to UA’s available resources and give solutions based on the tools the university already provides. 

The senators will be discussing this at upcoming meetings. 


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Updated December 1, 2020