Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

SGA launches Diversity Campaign

The Augustana SGA Executive Board traveled to Washington DC Thursday through Sunday of Week 7 to attend the American Student Government Association’s National Student Government Summit in order to strengthen the relationships within the Executive Board and gather new ideas to make Augustana’s campus a better place.
The Executive board consists of President Charlie Bentley, Vice-President Sarah Funke, Secretary Caitlin Slone, Treasurer Allan Daly, Parliamentarian Samantha DeForest-Davis and Chief of Staff Courtney Kampert. While in Washington DC, the team attended various sessions led by prominent role models in fields of both Student Government and higher education. According to Secretary Slone, “The goal of the trip was two-fold; to both grow and foster the relationships among the Executive Board and also to use the information learned from the sessions to create a plan of action for our campus.”
As a follow-up to their trip, the Executive Board has announced a new campaign known as the It’s On Us Diversity Campaign. Slone said that the campaign’s goal is “to encourage open and productive conversations about diversity, inclusion and free speech on Augustana’s campus.” To explain more about this campaign, the Executive Board held a press conference on 18 October at 11:45 AM on the patio outside of the Brew.
At the press conference, the Executive Board explained the details of their new Campaign. Last Thursday, SGA President Bentley formed a new Diversity Taskforce comprised of members of a variety of campus groups to form an open discussion regarding Augustana and its policies. Bentley said that the Taskforce is “built of about nine to ten students, mainly not involved with SGA but more diverse across the campus in race, their involvement, gender, class size, [and] different things like that.”
The Executive Board has made the decision to table all other projects for Winter Term in order to focus solely on the Diversity Taskforce and its goals. “The Executive Board will just be devoted to the campaign over the next few months,” Bentley said.
In addition to the It’s On Us Diversity Campaign, the Executive Board has connected with different organizations to help make Augustana’s campus better in regards to activism. The press conference discussed two main organizations, Young Invincibles, an organization focused on empowering young adults on issues such as healthcare and jobs, and NASPA, an association of student affairs administrators. “We feel that bringing them to campus will help engage students in understanding good ways to spread their message that is effective and might get other students involved,” Slone said.
Dean of Students, Evelyn Campbell, said, “I am very, very excited about what Student Government has conceived and is planning, and I think it’s critical that the student body have an active role.”
The overall intent of the new Campaign and outside organization involvement is to improve the Augustana campus and community. Vice President Funke said, “We just want to make the best course of events for everyone involved.”
The expectations of the Executive Board and administration for the upcoming term and events are high. Dean Campbell said with certainty that following the It’s On Us Diversity Campaign and it’s Taskforce, “Augustana will be better,” and SGA really believes that is true.

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SGA launches Diversity Campaign