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Student Senate Inclusivity and Diversity director position open for UWRF student

October 25, 2012

The Inclusivity and Diversity director position is vacant on the UW-River Falls Student Senate.

The Senate website states that part of the position description for Inclusivity and Diversity is to promote “awareness and education surrounding issues of inclusivity, including diversity in all forms, equal opportunity, social justice, gender inequality, and nondiscrimination by working with campus organizations, students and staff.”

Another expectation of the position is to address concerns with diversity and inclusivity within not only members of UWRF, including faculty and administration, but also the UW System Administration, UW Board of Regents, Wisconsin Governor, U.S. Congress and other areas across the nation.

According to Amy Graham, an at-large Senator, and the only minority student on Senate, without the position filled it is more difficult to have diversity issues and concerns addressed.

“As much as there is great diversity on this campus, I think people get nervous when people talk about diversity and race,” said Graham. “But I think it’s very important to talk about these issues although they don’t always feel comfortable.”

The collegeboard.org website estimates that 88 percent of college students are white, 4 percent are Asian, 4 percent are mixed race or other, 2 percent are African American, and 2 percent are Hispanic or Latino.

Since there are several diversity organizations on campus, Senate encourages anyone interested in the Inclusivity and Diversity director position to apply.

“The group that is on Senate right now is doing a great job at making people feel welcome and making sure that they are a part of something bigger than just themselves,” said Graham.

She explained that although the current Senate staff is encouraging and accepting, she would love to see a more diverse staff on Senate also.

“The past three years I’ve been here, the only person of color that I’ve seen on Student Senate is myself,” said Graham.

The senator agrees that diversity can be a touchy subject because many people are afraid of offending someone or having something taken out of context.

But it is a topic that needs to be dealt with; having someone on Senate to address the concerns and needs would make it much easier.

Student Senate is not the only organization on campus addressing issues and needs of diversity.

Graham explained that she is pleased with how Falcon Programs and Student Life are addressing this topic.

“They have been doing a great job holding all kinds of events and speakers on campus that deal with inclusivity and acceptance,” said Graham.

For example, Graham mentioned Ally Training, which was hosted by Student Life earlier in October.

She said it was a great way for students on campus to learn more about the LGBT community and how to support members by forming an alliance.

Other events like this open up an opportunity for students on campus who may not necessarily know a lot about other diversity groups to get involved and educated.

Graham explained that by being in the Inclusivity and Diversity director’s position, one could get involved with events, such as the Ally Training, and branching out more on campus.

Graham encourages minorities and other diversity groups to get their voices heard even if it isn’t by applying for a position on Senate.

“Be more involved in general on campus. Get involved with organizations or even just discussing topics and issues that are important to you will get your voice heard.”
To apply or learn more about the Inclusivity and Diversity director’s position email Senate President Bobbi O’Brien at bobbi.obrien@my.uwrf.edu