Upcoming USG Diversity town hall to address student concerns

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Upcoming USG Diversity town hall to address student concerns

Deeya Patel, News Editor

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The Undergraduate Student Government Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Committee will host a town hall on Thursday, Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. in Kendall Cram Hall. 

Last year, Tulane’s USG held a student forum, allowing students to interact with faculty dedicated to diversity and inclusion and ask questions or give suggestions about the diversity climate. This forum was organized by DIEC, whose members push for initiatives and legislation aimed at creating a more inclusive environment on campus.

DIEC has decided to instead hold a town hall this year, where several administrators and faculty will sit on a panel to answer questions from students and other audience members after the event. 

This year’s town hall is really exciting because DIEC has never had something like this before,” Divya Goel, co-chair of DIEC, said. “It’s set up similar to the Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Town Hall in that people can send in questions beforehand and during the event, and they can be targeted at specific administrators or the panel in general.” 

The panel will include Meredith Smith, assistant provost for Title IX and Clery Compliance; Petey Peterson, director of Gender and Sexual Diversity; Alicia Cazckowski, director of Student Health; Sierra Cason, assistant director and Diversity and Access coordinator; Sienna Abdulahad, associate director for the Office of Multicultural Affairs; and Rebecca Mark, director of the Center of Academic Equity. 

“One of our biggest goals at the moment is putting on a successful town hall. We are also working on refining our DIEC Review process and some initiatives like increasing diversity in academics,” Joanitah Nakiggwe, co-chair of DIEC, said.

DIEC also hopes to address issues including student healthcare and food insecurity on campus. 

“DIEC is working on initiatives focusing around obtaining Medicaid at the Campus Health Center and reducing hefty costs of students’ meal plans,” Goel said. “We actually are just starting a new round of initiatives, so we’re open to suggestions if anyone has any.” 

The DIEC intends to build on its gradually increasing momentum from past years and make bigger strides during this term. 

“Last year, DIEC did work on an initiative to get unlimited GYT [sexually transmitted disease] testing on Tulane’s campus,” Goel said. “… Other than this, unfortunately, DIEC faced lots of administrative obstacles and challenges in getting work done. However, we’re optimistic for the potential this year holds, especially with an increasing level of cultural competency within senate.”

The Town Hall will be held on Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. in Kendall Cram Hall. Free food from Ba Chi will be served. 

Questions for the Town Hall can be submitted here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeZmaWgDNHF4z4Yyq05XUQXiVXJwOXBv32xh3FizMjgR_NkWg/viewform