SGA creates new position focused on diversity, inclusion

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The Student Government Association has created a new director position to try to increase inclusion on campus and foster greater communication between SGA and the student body.

The position, dubbed the director of diversity and inclusion, was designed by SGA President Maddie Reddick to directly address needs of less-represented students through a “channel of communication.”

The new director is not a designated member of SGA. He or she will instead be working directly under Reddick.

“I want a person who is passionate about [inclusivity] and a self-starter in planning campaigns,” Reddick said. “I think it’s important to get the perspective of someone else, whether they’re a minority student or not, that sees different needs.”

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Distribution of race and ethnicity of all students in the past five years. http://www.ir.tcu.edu/factbooks/2015/student_data.asp

 

Reddick envisions the director working with the SGA Outreach Committee and TCU Inclusiveness & Intercultural Services to create programs focused on promoting diversity.

April Brown, director of Inclusiveness and Intercultural Services, said the position recognizes TCU’s desire to support inclusivity on campus, but it will take more than one person to change the culture of diversity at TCU.

“To provide an inclusive campus, you have to start from the top, and it has to be campus-wide,” Brown said. “You have to create a dialogue. Students have to ask themselves, ‘How am I an advocate?’”

Reddick said current events throughout the country, such as protests at the University of Missouri over racial issues on campus, compelled her to create this position and hopefully change the culture at TCU. Reddick said she wanted to make increasing inclusivity a priority.

“People could email sga.tcu.edu if they were having concerns, but that’s not as comfortable for some,” Reddick said. “I want someone thinking about this all the time that students can go to.”

SGA members underwent a training focused on diversity at their meeting on Jan. 19.

International Student Association President Van Do said the new director position would be beneficial to international students. The director could help better inform international students about SGA and get them more involved in “majority” organizations.

“I don’t think that international students feel included enough right now,” Do said. “[The position] could bring students together and get people to know about other cultures.”

Both IIS and the International Student Association are hosting several programs this semester that all students are welcome to participate in. IIS will have a Unity Fest this March with representatives from many student organizations, and the International Student Association is hosting a talent show and banquet at the end of February.