Campus, News

ASI Senate addresses claim of cultural disconnect among students

Associated Students, Inc. Senate discussed a plan that addresses concerns of the cultural disconnect between ASI and the Divisions of Cultural Affairs, during a virtual meeting Wednesday.

Spearheading the program, Chief of Diversity Officer Citlalli Ortiz reported that ASI’s ongoing struggle to bridge cultural organizations’ issues has prompted dismay.

“We just kind of want to strengthen that relationship and see if there’s any way that we can be of assistance to them or them to us, or just any communication that we need to share with them,” Ortiz said. “So trying to connect with them is something that I want to work on.”

The split in communication comes on the heels of a conference in which Ortiz and the Cabinet of Cultural Affairs discussed connecting with cross-cultural organizations like the LGBTQ and disability community.

Under Ortiz’s discretion, she delegated the task to ASI members of using their positions to address the issues listed:

  • Indoctrinating a more inclusive terminology used for students
  • Mandated training against implicit bias
  • Reallocating funds to support undocumented students in low-income households who have been affected by COVID-19
  • Financial support in the form of scholarships that aid the LGBTQ community
  • Hiring a sexual assault specialist
  • Menstrual and hygiene products in all restrooms

“We want to make sure that we’re having that collaboration within all of us,” Ortiz said to emphasize that the slew of concerns from each commissioner, although briefly, holds substantial value as a whole for the betterment of student academia.

In return, Dean of Students Piya Bose challenged the commissioners by prefacing that they are not allowed to mandate training according to the California Faculty Association.

“I think the better the approach is like how we can make these interests to and have the faculty be motivated to do this on their own,” Bose said.

Bose also added that the person working with students who are survivors of sexual assault is known as “the advocate,” and her expertise is in consulting students in legal processes.

“We do have other folks on campus that are trained in trauma-informed care to support students who are survivors of sexual assault,” Bose said, when differentiating the two specific roles that work in conjunction with each other.

Ortiz also shared the second annual Students of Color Conference event.

“Our tagline this year is ‘Still we rise; Reclaiming our power,” Ortiz said, describing the flyer graphic with a rose and fist.

There has yet been a set date on when the event, which will be about learning the tools of navigating school to maintain a healthy mental state, will occur.

ASI Senate will reconvene next Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 3:30 p.m. via Zoom.

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