The Tulane Hullabaloo

Letter to the Editor: Write-in candidate for Vice President of Student Organizations

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Dear Editor,

I am running as in a write in candidate and thus I am not allowed to be endorsed by the Progressive Voter Coalition. I do have permission to use the questions they compiled.

Do you support giving more funding to Multicultural Council (MCC) and Gender and Sexuality Advisory Council (GSAC) organizations on campus?

Pearl Dalla: Yes, as the previous GSAC Chair I know the importance of funding to an organization. I want to equitably help MCC and GSAC in order to grow and develop their organizations more so that they can to request more funding and get approved for those budgets.

Do you support the USG initiative to remove the racist namesake of F. Edward Hebert and do you support following efforts for Tulane to make initiatives to reclaim racist history and recognize legacies of oppression?

Pearl Dalla: Yes, I do support the initiative to change the name of Hebert Hall, and though I know that it is a lengthy process in order to achieve this, I am rooting for the organizers and hope these efforts are kept up on campus. These are things that need to be recognized in order to uphold the humanity of all students on our campus.

Do you plan on talking to leaders of MCC and GSAC orgs in order to help address issues of marginalization?

Pearl Dalla: Yes, during my time as GSAC chair I have maintained a good working relationship with GSAC and MCC orgs over the past two years, and I hope to continue to cultivate these relationships. I plan on helping underrepresented students have their voices heard by taking it upon myself to go into their spaces, with their permission, to hear them out, instead of tokenizing them when convenient.

How does intersectionality relate to your experience on this campus?

Pearl Dalla: As a queer woman of color, though I am straight passing, all of three of those identities cannot exist for me in a vacuum. This has been apparent in white dominated spaces, and even in USG for me.

What will you do to improve the lives of students of color at Tulane and make this campus safe and welcoming for all students? 

Pearl Dalla: I want students of color to feel empowered to demand space, funding, and for their voices to be heard and respected. I already have a good working relationship with the Student Safety committee, so I want to use that to create a more transparent, healthy relationship with TUPD. I also want to work with them and the school in general to make sure the voices of students of color are being heard when it comes to reporting. I have heard time and time again from my peers that their reports were not carried out properly. We as a community have recognized this as an issue, so through data collection we need to work with Student Affairs and TUPD to come up with effective solutions, and then continually consult students on these efforts.

Do you believe students of color and of marginalized backgrounds should have safe spaces on campus?

Pearl Dalla: Absolutely! As GSAC chair, one of the most valuable assets for us is the Mosaic Lounge, and on top of that I truly find the O to be my home (may or may not be typing this up as I am there). Without either of these spaces I cannot fathom where and how I would fit on this campus where finding spaces that breed diverse thought can be hard to come by.

What correlation do you see between racial profiling and increased TUPD presence on campus?

Pearl Dalla: It is important to recognize that Allied Security is separate from TUPD, but even Allied has made both myself and many other women of color on this campus uncomfortable this year. TUPD has the best interests of students at heart, but we must question if it is all students, or if they are just pandering to those who align with normative culture.

What have you done in your time here to offer support/raise awareness for survivors of sexual aggression and what solid steps will you take to ensure their protection? Slightly longer answer acceptable.

Pearl Dalla: Under GSAC, we have added a Sexual Assault Prevention subcommittee to counteract our voices continually being marginalized in the current prevention efforts on this campus. Also each year for Trans Day of Remembrance we honor the lives lost of trans people internationally, a lot of which is through sexual aggression.

Do you believe mental health services should be expanded on campus? Is a culture change necessary?

Pearl Dalla: I have seen many strides in terms of mental health culture within the past five years in my circles, but more can always be done, especially for men, as they have extremely high rates of suicide. Mental health services need to be expanded on this campus, and I have made suggestions to extend CAPS’ hours to accommodate for the high demanding of counseling services amongst students.

Do you support expanding student options for birth control and abortion on and off campus?

Pearl Dalla: Yes, I personally have accessed such resources on campus, but having a mechanism in place for those whose insurance may not cover such services is integral. There is already a lot of stigma surrounding these issues, and we as a Tulane community should work towards reducing as much of the other stresses and strains that come with it as we can.

Do you believe that Tulane’s service learning program is sufficient for having a lasting, positive, progressive impact on our city? If no, what would you like to see changed?

Pearl Dalla: Tulane’s service learning was co-opted from CPS and scaled in an unhealthy way, leading to the harm it has caused a lot of our community partners across the city. I am currently working with CPS to restructure their approach to service learning and hope to build out the programs that community partners have identified as being the most productive out more.

Have you taken an LGBTQ 101 or Trans 101 training since coming to Tulane, or something equivalent? If yes, when?

Pearl Dalla: Yes, I have been through one round of LGBTQ 101 this semester, and on top of that these are conversations that I continue to have as a Community Engagement Advocate in training.

Have you attended an Undoing Racism workshop in the past? If yes, when? Did you change the way you act as a leader on campus because of it? If no, will you commit to attending the fall workshop?

Pearl Dalla: Yes, I attended Undoing Racism last spring. It changed the way I operate as a leader on campus and just personally because it really helped me understand the systems that uphold oppression

What resources do you believe need to be expanded for minority students?

Pearl Dalla: Minority students on this campus often times face a barrier to feeling the same sense of connectedness to the Tulane community that their peers do. Anything to resolve these barriers would help, and I would like to consult the communities that are affected instead of proposing something without having that input.

Do you support the Sodexo catering policy for providing food that creates a monopoly that specifically hurts multicultural organizations? 

Pearl Dalla: Absolutely not. The fact that Sodexo claims that the food is sufficient is ridiculous and quite frankly disrespectful. Food is such an important part of culture, and Sodexo needs to step up and be more accommodating to respect the humanity of the students within multicultural organizations.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.

Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans
Letter to the Editor: Write-in candidate for Vice President of Student Organizations