By Erin Kamel
Student Government discussed campus diversity at its weekly meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 20.
The general body meeting began as Director of Student Diversity and Inclusion, Don Trahan Jr. introduced himself and opened the floor to answer questions or concerns regarding his new role and responsibilities. Trahan shared that he was excited to foster an inclusive environment and address challenges that the campus may be facing.
“My purpose is to hear and learn from you. As the director of Student Diversity and Inclusion, with a specific focus on students, I need to hear your voice. I need to know what your needs are in order to be able to advocate accordingly,” Trahan said.
Trahan expressed that he fully intends to collaborate with PRISM and WILL amongst other organizations at the College, as his role will not only focus on racial diversity. Trahan will return to SG’s general assembly meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 11, to conduct diversity training.
Baldween Casseus, SG’s vice president of Diversity and Inclusion, announced opposition to the presidential administration’s decision to rescind Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals by presenting a resolution that she wrote on the matter.
“The Student Government of The College of New Jersey echo’s President R. Barbara Gitenstein’s statement showing support for the students and for a solution that allows them to stay in this country legally and whereas the Student Government of The College of New Jersey believes that the repeal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, DACA, is not in the best interest of the student body,” Casseus stated in her resolution.
The resolution will be sent to lawmakers in New Jersey to advocate for students at the College who are directly affected by DACA, and will be voted on by Student Government on Wednesday, Sept. 27.
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers was approved to become an officially recognized student organization by the College. The organization has been active on campus since 1977, but lost SG recognition during the 2015-2016 academic year for failing to update their Lions Gate page and for not following protocol set forth by the Office of Student Involvement. The organization maintains a membership base of 62 members, consisting of sophomores, juniors and seniors. It operates as a small facet of the larger national American Society of Mechanical Engineers organization. They are currently affiliated with other clubs on campus, including the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Society of Women Engineers and the Society of Automotive Engineers.
New SG members were sworn in by executive president Chris Blakeley, a junior civil engineering major, including freshman through senior class council members, senators of the academic schools and Justin Brach, the speaker of the General Assembly and a junior finance and political science double major.
Brach proposed to pass bill B-F2017-01, for the “Creation of Deputy Speaker of the General Assembly.”
This position would ultimately serve as a position directly under the Speaker of General Assembly, with the role of tackling initiatives that the Speaker may not have time to address. Ultimately the bill did not win the support of the 3/4 majority that it needed to pass, and failed.
The traditional Homecoming Spirit Week structure, allowing organizations and groups of students to form teams, will also remain in place for this year because there is not enough time to make changes, according to Blakeley. New ideas will be considered for next year’s Homecoming.