Student Senate

Equity, diversity and inclusion changes to come to campus

Maddie Kasper

More stories from Maddie Kasper

Student Senate
December 15, 2022
Student+Senate

The Student Senate meeting began at 6:02 p.m. on Monday.

Chancellor James Schmidt introduced himself to the senate and spoke about upcoming changes to equity, diversity and inclusion on campus after Olga Diaz stepped down as vice chancellor of EDI and student affairs in late September.

Schmidt said he is taking feedback from students, faculty and staff into account before making any EDI changes. Schmidt can be reached at [email protected] and [email protected].

“We’re having conversations with the campus,” Schmidt said. “My intention is to appoint interim leadership that would serve for about a year and a half and give the campus more time and breathing room to participate in a conversation about how to move forward.”

Schmidt said he hopes to appoint interim leadership before the fall break to provide stability and healing for the EDI and student affairs divisions.

“I am committed to our continual work and leadership in EDI. We still have a long way to go but by comparison to most institutions we’ve really done some trailblazing things,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt said a possible change would be splitting the position into a vice chancellor for EDI and a vice chancellor for student affairs. That could mean another position representing students in the chancellor’s cabinet, according to Schmidt.

“I am committed to closing the opportunity gap for all students on this campus,” Schmidt said. “That’s my no. 1 priority, so that underrepresented students are achieving at the same rate level as the student body as a whole — graduation rates, retention rates, participation in high-impact experiences.”

Director Hannah Kelly said the intergovernmental affairs commission will host a voting event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 25 in The Hub. Kelly said the commissions will provide information about voting, candidates and helping students register to vote.

More information about the Nov. 8 election can be found at myvote.wi.gov

Director Brett Farmer said the university activities commission will be showing “Blair Witch Project” at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 28 in the Woodland Theater as part of the campus films series

Farmer also said The Cabin will be hosting Hana Fleur and Brooke Elizabeth from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29.

Livvy Argo was appointed to an at-large senator seat. Vice President Nick Johnson said there are six remaining vacant senate seats and interested students can apply on Blugold Connect+.

Student Organizations Director Bradford Heap introduced bill 66-B-6 to approve a new special allocation fund account. The bill will be re-introduced and voted on at the next meeting.

Superintendent Michael Johnson gave a presentation about the Eau Claire Area School District referendum appearing in the upcoming election.

Michael Johnson said if the referendum passes, $98.6 million would be spent to address the aging infrastructure and improve the learning environment of 11 buildings in the school district.

Director Ben Johnson said he is looking for a finance commission intern, and interested students can apply on Blugold Connect+.

Heap said students hosting parties over the Halloween weekend should register their parties and social gatherings with the Party Registry System to avoid receiving noise citations. The Party Registry form can be accessed on Blugold Connect+.

Kelly said the intergovernmental affairs commission is also looking for an intern. Students can email her at [email protected] for information about the position or apply on Blugold Connect+.

Farmer said The Forum series will be hosting Monica Lewinsky at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 26 in Zorn Arena. 

Tickets to Lewinsky’s presentation, “The Price of Shame,” will be available to students for $2 and increase to $4 on Wednesday, according to Integrated Marketing and Communication.

President Rossellin Gaitan said the Dean of Students Office is hosting Mobile Barber events to provide free barbering services to students. 

The senate adjourned at 7:52 p.m. and will reconvene at 6 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 31 in the Dakota Ballroom.

Kasper can be reached at [email protected].