The Student Government Association (SGA) received an allocation of $16, 000 for diversity initiatives, according to the SGA Finance Committee.
Ron Babiak a finance major and the Finance Committee Chairman for the association, said that $6,000 came from the 2018 fall budget of the Finance Committee, while the remaining $10,000 was provided by the school.
According to Babiak, the money will be used for “multicultural purposes on campus” with the intent of “raising awareness of a particular culture or social group”.
This initiative stems from the school’s desire to promote diversity, as well as recent student demands for more inclusion programs throughout the year. Some of these demands were made public last year, when a group called the Concerned 44 protested for more representation in staff members. The group was said to have made an agreement with the president of the university.
When asked whether these funds exist in response of said Concerned 44 agreement, Babiak mentioned that although they were “not entirely the main contributors” they were a very important part of it.
He also said that there can be a request from a specific SGA committee in order to develop said initiatives, and meanwhile it is the job of the treasury to make the better use of these funds.
The student community seems to appreciate the idea of new diversity initiatives. Freshman visual and sound media major, Christian Gardner, expressed his opinion on the matter.
“I appreciate the school attempting to make this school more diverse,” Gardner said. “The diversity ratio is part of the reason I chose this school, but there’s always room for improvement to have more representation.”
Freshman art design major Basil Balalon also expressed his opinion. “I do think it is weird that such a large amount is given just for diversity initiatives, but I guess I don’t know the whole picture,” Balalon said.
“Overall though, I’d say that it’s a pretty good thing, and perhaps the school and student government should do more things like that.”
Emilio Garcia can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.