SGA forms EDI position, committee


Photo by Shelby Clark

Erika Uebelhor, SGA attorney general, reads the resolution to create a equity, diversity, and inclusion administrative vice president position to the General Assembly for approval March 3. in Carter Hall The General Assembly unanimously approved the resolution March 3.

Alyssa DeWig, Staff Writer

Student Government Association created an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion administrative vice president (AVP) position and committee for the 2022-2023 academic year. Anna Ardelean, president of SGA, signed the resolution for the position and committee March 25. 

Students will be able to run for the AVP of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion during the SGA 2022 election. The last day to apply for an SGA position in the SGA 2022 election is Friday.

The position will chair the SGA EDI committee and host student events from different diversity-oriented organizations on campus, such as the Black Student Union, the Hispanic Student Union, the Multicultural Center and Greek organizations.

 As a graduating senior, Ardelean said SGA has been anticipating this decision for a long time, and now that they have officially passed it, it will be the start to the push for more inclusivity on campus. 

The AVP position was created so an individual could represent the committee as a whole, which will be filled with people of various ethnicities, sexual orientations and religious affiliations, Ardelean said. 

The official discussion on this position began Feb. 17, the resolution was introduced Feb. 24 and passed March 3.    

“Diversity manifests itself in so many different ways,” Ardelean said. SGA wants to use the new EDI position and committee to best represent all of the various forms of diversity on campus.

The person who takes this position will help the committee advocate for SGA’s representation of diversity. All students are eligible to apply for AVP positions. 

Ardelean said, “Who the person is that holds the position is not as important as who is on the committee.” She said SGA wants to ensure they not only push for diversity but that they actually move forward with progress. 

Ardelean said, “If we have an all white General Assembly, you don’t want an all white Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee.”

D’Angelo Taylor, the associate director of the Multicultural Center, said he is excited to see SGA pass the EDI position and committee. “To have students who are engaged from the beginning, and illuminating diversity, equity and inclusion on campus, is pretty cool,” he said.

He said he wants the university to not only continue pushing for diversity but to also continue the conversations and actions to further instigate change.

“We’re in a space that needs advocacy, and not just from those who make up the underrepresented populations, but also those who are part of represented populations,” Taylor said.

Students on campus also hope SGA’s decision to pass the EDI position and committee will create more opportunities for educating people on diversity. 

Pricela Smith, freshman psychology major, said, “We all just want to feel comfortable with being ourselves, so if we educate our students, then hopefully they can understand we are all human.” 

Kierra Graham, junior art major, said, “You usually have uncomfortable conversations because you’ve got people who haven’t been exposed to other people with different ideas, different cultures.” 

Students also hope to bring forth more conversations and action regarding diversity. 

“I feel like if people were more educated, they would understand that it is okay to love who you want to love and identify as who you want to be,” Smith said. “I am also glad that our campus has diversity groups for people of color, but I feel like those minorities need to be more educated on racism.” 

Ardelean said, “I can’t say that the creation of this position will automatically build all these bridges, but it’s a step toward doing that.”