The Student Government Association (SGA) launched its Gender Equity Committee on Sept. 19 in response to the “not prioritized” treatment of women on campus.
The SGA voted Erika David, a junior diplomacy and international relations major, as the new commissioner of this committee.
David, who is also the president of the SHU Survivors organization, said she was “very blessed” and “shocked” to be voted commissioner. In addition to her role in SGA and SHU Survivors, David recently spearheaded Girls Group for Gains, which aims to prioritize gym safety for women on campus.
“I hope to make a change,” David said.
The Gender Equity Agency is a permanent version of last year’s Gender Equity Task Force and is similar in policy. David’s role will be to “tackle” ongoing gender issues on campus, such as the controversy surrounding Title IX. She said she hopes to expand to racial issues on campus, saying they are“prevalent.”
David said she will also speak with administration about concerns regarding these issues expressed by the student body in order to create “a bridge between students and administration,” she said.
David said she plans to host a monthly meeting with representatives of student organizations such as PRIDE, the Filipino League at Seton Hall (FLASH), and other gender- and race-based clubs.
Another goal of David’s is to make campus life safer and more inclusive. The campus needs “a better attitude” towards the LGBTQ+ community, she said.
“The treatment of women on campus is not prioritized,” she said.
Vice President of Student Services Dr. Monica Burnette said that Seton Hall has an “unwavering commitment” to protecting all members of the community, providing a “safe, supportive, and inclusive living and learning environment that fosters academic, spiritual, and personal growth.”
“As part of that commitment, we prioritize the well-being of all our students, faculty, and administrators,” Dr. Burnette said. “Working closely with the SGA, Student Services provides a wide array of support services for women students. We congratulate Erika David on her appointment and look forward to working with her.”
David said that she has been receiving hate mail from the student body in the form of anonymous Outlook messages. She said the messages don’t hurt nor do they discourage her.
“It encourages me because that means word is spreading,” David said.
Emma Thumann can be reached at email@example.com.