For this week’s Associated Students of University of San Francisco (ASUSF) Senate meeting, the senators were faced with several updates on proposals that are underway and welcomed a new senator.
- Ashley Jones, President of the Black Student Union (BSU), presented a list of demands that was sent to President Fitzgerald in December of 2015. Jones elaborated on these demands to the senators, stating that many of them were either ignored or brushed off without concrete answers. The letter opens with the daily experiences black students face at USF, from hearing insensitive remarks from students and professors, to racial slurs written in the residence halls. Jones illustrates that although the school markets itself as an institution of diversity and inclusion, the school continues to fail this mission, such as inaccurately posting stories on the school website about collective experiences of black students at USF and dissolving the Office of Multicultural Recruitment and Retention. A number of those requests were answered, such as the addition of an African American living-learning community in Phelan Residence Hall, starting fall 2017. Additionally, the introduction of a Bias Education Response Team (BERT) has aided in the fight against microaggressions. However, Jones states that it isn’t enough. BSU wants administration to aim for a 10 percent African American student population and 25 percent representation in staff and faculty.
- Shawn Calhoun, Assistant Dean of the Gleeson Library, discussed updates on the renovation status of the library. The library is heading towards the direction of learning commons, equipped with moveable furniture on the first and second floor. Learning commons rooms are on the rise amongst libraries, since they are also capable of hosting various events. Other updates include a café in the atrium of the library and additional silent spaces throughout the building.
- Vice President of Internal Affairs, Francesca Bitton, inducted a new officer: Sophia Thompson. Thompson will serve as the School of Nursing Representative for ASUSF Senate.
- During the advisor reports, Assistant Director of Campus Engagement Brittany Sanguma stated that the Graduate ASUSF Senate has begun, and presented several initiatives they’re planning which overlap with the Undergraduate ASUSF’s policies, demonstrating that both student bodies are facing similar issues. This opens the window for joint resolutions between both ASUSF Senate’s, something that has not been done in a long time.
The ASUSF Senate meetings are held every Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m. on the UC 4th Floor Lounge. Students are encouraged to attend so they can remain updated and aware of the decisions and presentations being discussed in every meeting.
PHOTO COURTESY OF ASUSF SENATE