The Associated Students of the University of Arizona, the university’s undergraduate student governing body, met on Wednesday, Jan. 27 over Zoom to discuss updates on diversity, equity and inclusion and to pass the action item removing the Senate whip from the bylaws.
Senate whip removed
The action item that would remove the language in the ASUA bylaws of the Senate whip position was passed unanimously by the Senate, requiring a two-thirds vote to pass.
The position was removed for being “super unnecessary and redundant”, according to Senator Anisa Hermosillo of the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, who proposed the item. The Senate whip position was mostly procedural, acting as a fill in if the president of ASUA and the president of the Senate were unable to perform their duties.
The Senators continue to meet with their respective colleges and college specific diversity committees to discuss equity, diversity, inclusion, improvements for students and the UA campus as a whole.
College of Fine Arts Senator Jack Haskins spoke of a new potential avenue in improving DEI following a meeting he attended with the Associate Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, Ivy Banks, along with Senator At-Large Lady Elli, and President Tara Singleton.
The suggestion considers targeting punishment for acting inappropriately in terms of diversity, equity and inclusion to be handled at the admissions level, instead of changing the Student Code of Conduct, which proved to have some challenges.
Hermosillo shared a concern with the Senate she was hoping to gain support with: CAPLA has an honorary, Tau Sigma Delta, that began a yearly journal sent out to architecture professionals concerning architectural ideas back in 2014. Since then, the journal has expanded and is now under the control of a UA professor.
It was brought to TSD’s attention that the journal is called the [TRANS-] Journal, which is concerning to TSD given the name could be seen as offensive or negative to people of the transgender community. TSD requested the professor remove and change the name of the journal but was denied. Hermosillo said that TSD will now be taking this to CAPLA’s DEI committee, hoping they will be able to step in to help resolve the situation.
The Senate all agreed that they will begin sharing updates with their DEI work through ASUA’s social media pages, which will help in offering a clear timeline for students and hopefully reiterate that change is in progress.
President Singleton joined the beginning of the meeting to go over basic announcements she had for the Senate, including information about the upcoming elections. While the current Senators and executives will be in their positions until May 1, elections will be held in mid-March, with packets being available to interested candidates on Feb. 15.
The Senators also spoke about their plans for their upcoming resource open houses which will be held virtually, with the first one coming up at the end of February that will be focused on advising and admissions. The virtual club fair was hosted Jan. 27 and Executive Vice President Noah Vega noted that the turnout was great, especially for the current circumstances. If you were unable to make the virtual club fair, lists of ASUA sponsored clubs are available on their website.
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