Club inclusivity ratings approved
Ad hoc committee rated clubs on a scale of low risk to high risk regarding their inclusivity
The Student Executive Board met for the last session of its term on Thursday to wrap up the year by allocating money for Union-branded merchandise, discussing club inclusivity, and reflecting on their term together. With the rebranding of the Union logo, the Board decided that there was a need for new merchandise to celebrate and update the campus on the new symbol of the Union. There was also an in-depth discussion on the findings that an ad-hoc committee had made in regard to the inclusivity of all clubs on campus. Finally, the meeting closed with the Board thanking both involved students and administrators.
Club/ICA Representative Ida Etemadi ’19 presented the Board with options for merchandise featuring the newly-designed Union logo. This would increase the allocation of $1,800 for the Union launch by an approximate $200 by pulling from contingencies to pay for branded PopSockets, grocery totes, coolers, and table throws. The proposal was met with questions from members of the Board regarding the proposed quantities and cost, and how the new merchandise would be distributed. According to Etemadi, the high costs were associated with the large one-time purchase of items such as banners and table throws, but she reassured that these items would be important, as they would be useful in the foreseeable future. After deliberation over the cost effectiveness of the motion, it was passed 12-3-2.
The Board then moved on to a report given by an ad hoc committee. The committee was established after the the Board denied Turning Point affiliation, as part of an effort to ensure that the Board was holding all clubs to the same standard of inclusivity which prevented Turning Point from becoming an affiliated club.
The committee rated clubs on a scale of low risk to high risk, with all but three clubs being determined as low risk. The three clubs which were marked as medium risk were the Alpha Delta Phi Society, Cru, and Students for Sensible Drug Policy. The committee was concerned with Alpha Delta Phi, as on other campuses they tend to resemble a fraternity more than their advertised literary club; however, the committee mentioned that after approaching the club, they made it clear that they had no intentions of going in that direction. Cru was given a medium rating based on Reddit posts which were made over two years ago. Students for Sensible Drug Policy was given a higher rating due to an inherent risk in what they aimed to discuss, and because they did not have a faculty advisor with experience in health policy to ensure inclusivity in ideology.
During the discussion of the merits of the motion, there was concern over why the committee had not approached these clubs before the meeting to get their input and provide insight into why they had been given this rating. Some members of the Board were worried that this would be seen as a disciplinary action instead of a recommendation to the clubs, considering the potential impact that such a rating might have on the recruitment of new members. There was also concern over how these determinations were made, as there were no interviews of club members and students with regard to inclusivity. Grand Marshal Justin Etzine ’18 gave some further insight into the situation regarding Cru, explaining that the incident involved a non-student advisor posting a “borderline homophobic” comment on Reddit, and that the advisor is no longer associated with the club.
After a lengthy discussion, the queue was closed, and the members of the Board voted in favor of publishing the findings online with a 10-4-2 vote. The ad-hoc committee’s report is to be released soon, and will be available to the public on the Executive Board’s website.
After all the committees reported on the work they had done in the last year, the Board moved to thank the members of the administrative staff who had helped them make decisions and function over the last year, as well as President of the Union Matthew Rand ’18. Both ceremonial motions passed unanimously. Rand ended his final meeting of the Executive Board by thanking members of the Board, administrative staff, and the student body by saying, “It has not only been a phenomenal opportunity to work with you all, but to lead you, and I thank you for allowing me to do that […] So thank you, thank you, thank you.”
You can vote for the next president of the Union, as well as other members of the Student Government, this week from 9 am to 7 pm in the Darrin Communications Center, Union, or Commons Dining Hall this Thursday.