Published: Monday, 23 November 2020
Written by David Rowe
Reflection has been one of the defining characteristics of 2020. As the fight to dismantle systemic racism grows across the nation, ASI is determined to pull their weight by implementing meaningful changes this year and beyond.
As an organization run by and for students, the leaders of AS Student Government felt an obligation to draft a concrete plan for advocacy and policy concerning staff diversity, progressive programming and much more. The final product is the 2020-21 ASI Policy Agenda on Equity, Inclusion and Racial Justice, which was drafted and passed by the AS Senate in late September.
"Professional staff and student leaders within ASI took an honest look into the equity issues within our institution," said ASI Vice President Maythe Alderete Gonzalez. "We all want to achieve equity, and student leaders carry the real responsibility of delivering on that goal."
The plan features seven categories, ranging from governing board composition, which encourages all boards to "consider the addition of student leadership or administrator/faculty positions to help address diversity, equity, and inclusion," to human resources management, which mandates recognition of historical holidays and champions of civil rights, unconscious bias training, ally training, workplace diversity and more. According to Vice President Alderete Gonzalez, these steps are important for student leaders and their constituents alike.
"People on our campus want to see more diversity, equity and inclusion – they want us to take more steps in the right direction," said Maythe. "This policy agenda might not be perfect, but it definitely brings us closer to where we need to be."
As a collaborative effort across several departments within ASI, the plan will impact nearly every aspect of the organization. With the academic year in full swing, student government officials now look toward implementation.
"It’s important to see the progress from where we’ve been to where we want to be," said Maythe. "The support for this plan is clear – now we have to ensure we follow through with action."