Student Senate

Senate vacancies and EDI changes main focus of the week


The Student senate meeting began at 6 p.m. on Monday.

During the open forum, Lily Strehlow introduced herself as the new sustainability specialist on campus and discussed future sustainability initiatives.

On Tuesday, Sep. 27, the Chancellor’s Office announced Olga Diaz would no longer serve as the vice chancellor for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Student Affairs.

“I think this definitely opens up the conversation to how we want our EDI to be structured within the university,” President Rosselin Gaitan said. “It’s sad to see another faculty member leaving, but students have made it very clear that they want more from that position.”

Gaitan also said Diaz stepping down is an opportunity for positive EDI changes on campus.

“I want to see someone that can inspire other people to continue to work in higher education, can push our students and build relationships with communities,” Gaitan said.

Maddie Blong, equity in student matters commission senate director, held a roundtable on Thursday, Sep. 29 to discuss EDI initiatives on campus and Diaz stepping down.

“Our marginalized identities are suffering and they need help,” Gaitan said. “To the people who are upset and struggling, it’s important for them to realize that we’re going to get through it.”

Sydney McGuine, Student Office of Sustainability senate director, said the commission will be introducing legislation at the next meeting about LEED certification and LEED credentialing for students.

Matthew Lehner, Oliver Gibbs, Tristan Weasler, Avery De Ruyter and Allie Russell were appointed to at-large senate seats.

Vice President Nick Johnson said after this round of new senators there are only six remaining vacancies.

“We were at 12 senators before and now we’re at 21. We doubled the size of the senate, which is really nice to see,” Johnson said. “We still have a ways to go but now we can start shifting our focus a little bit to other projects.”

Gaitan said it is important to fill the vacant senate seats to ensure there are different voices and opinions being represented on campus.

Blong said to check the Multicultural Student Services’ website about events for Indigenous Peoples’ day on Monday, Oct. 10.

Intergovernmental Affairs commission director Hannah Kelly said the League of Women Voters will be on campus from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 6 to help register students to vote.

The senate adjourned at 6:53 p.m. and we reconvene at 6 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 10 in the Dakota Ballroom.

Kasper can be reached at [email protected].