Nov 082010
 
Authors: Jordyn Dahl

The Associated Students of CSU is working to develop stronger relationships with diversity offices on campus, which Chief of Staff Nate Fiedler said hasn’t been done in the past.

Student government officials said they want to represent all students and make the ASCSU office a comfortable environment for minority students.
“We’re trying to show an increased effort toward (diversity),” said ASCSU President Cooper Anderson.

This comes after Anderson and Vice President Jennifer Babos tried to cut the Department of Diversity and Outreach during their budget presentation last semester and use the money for raising salaries for all cabinet positions other than their own.

Babos said ASCSU is dedicated to making the office inclusive of all students and wants the entire office to reach out to diversity offices on campus, not just one department of student government.

The Diversity Department of ASCSU has created five assistant director positions to allow each director to focus on one diversity office and develop a relationship with the staff.

The director spends a minimum of two hours with the staff and director of the office and attends staff meetings.

Brittany Nieves, the director for the Black/African American Cultural Center, has worked closely with the staff and developed a close working relationship with the students, according to the director of BAACC, Bridgette Johnson.

While ASCSU wants to develop a strong relationship with the Student Diversity Programs and Services, the diversity offices don’t want student government having a significant influence on them.

According to Anderson, ASCSU recognizes that diversity offices only see the governing body during election season and wants to fix that. SDPS, however, doesn’t want student government to have a large influence on its workings.

Johnson said she doesn’t feel the relationship is full circle and beneficial to both sides. To feel completely connected, ASCSU would need to ask them for support, rather than always offering it to the offices.

The offices realize ASCSU can provide substantial funding but want to provide support to student government and have a voice, not just be a source for receiving potential funding.

ASCSU will be holding a forum with student government personnel and students from SDPS to continue to build the relationship and offer support to the offices, as well as discuss issues that need to change. The forum is set to take place in December.

“We hope that by creating a relationship and having open conversations that students of color and marginalized identities feel safe to be a part of ASCSU,” said Director of Diversity Sam Raso.

ASCSU Beat Reporter Jordyn Dahl can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 6:16 pm

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