Matthew Krauss, Columnist • firstname.lastname@example.org
The creation of ten new student unions on campus, housed under the Multicultural Students Association (MSA), is intended to help students address issues in a multicultural student body, says director of Inclusion and Dialogue Patricia Gonzalez.
The plan is that these students unions, will be advised by the Faculty, Staff of Color Association (FSOCA) members and other individual will advise various students group. The MSA is planned to provide a space for activism and culture building starting at their Kickoff Party on Saturday, April 21.
Anyone can join MSA and become apart of more than one student union, says Gonzalez, because the goal is “intersectionality. When you are part of a union, for example, myself a Latinx, I could join the Disabilities Student Union, Asian Student Union, etc., and learn more about my peers.”
Gonzalez said the groups will discuss a variety of topics but she said she sees frequent complaints from students about the challenges they face on campus and hopes these subjects in particular will be brought up so the group can discuss the “solutions to issues.”
Junior Sam Page, a member of the Black Student Union, sees the initiative as an important place “for students to have a place to affirm their identities…. We can support each other on a different level.”
Page will be staying over this summer to advertise the unions to newly admitted students on orientation day and also prepare for their work next school year along with the new I.D. Center intern Isabella McCall.
All the groups will be overseen by the FSOCA advisors and others, in addition to leaders who are all members of the Multicultural Student Union. This will create the possibility for the most amounts of professors and staff to work with students to create effective solutions to campus needs. Gonzalez hopes this interaction will encourage others to dialogue because, she said, “We as a campus need to have more of these conversations, of events that are happening in world, our country, our communities, and at our E&H community.”
The unions can also mobilize students if issues arise so that non-member students, faculty, and staff can learn about the issues on campus and work together to solve the problems.
Saturday, April 21 is the kick-off/open house party for the unions, which will be hosted at the Village Community Center from 6 p.m. – 12 a.m. The event will have food and music hosted by a DJ. The unions will be planning their program all summer so as to engage new students.