Minority groups thank senators for diversity legislation
Published: Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 17:11
Last week, Student Senate passed a bill requiring mandatory diversity training for incoming first-year students. On Tuesday, its constituents were thankful.
The bill was drafted in response to an act of vandalism against Multicultural Student Affairs’ boulevard sign on Sept. 8th. Many of SMU’s multicultural organizations pleaded Senate to take action against the act.
The legislation passed last Tuesday with only four Senators — Devin Kerns, Jared McCluskey, Emily McIntosh and Caleb Pool — voting against the diversity initiative.
The diversity initiative intends to increase multicultural tolerance and understanding within the SMU community.
The result was the diversity committee’s resolution to mandate isolated diversity training for incoming SMU students.
One by one, representatives from many organizations addressed the chamber from the podium and sincerely expressed their thanks.
Harvey Luna, co-president of SPECTRUM (an SMU LGBT organization), spoke first: “Thank you for your service to the Senate and the student body. Thank you to Kim Elmazi and the Diversity Committee.”
He concluded his thought by saying, “We need affirmation on diversity issues, which brings dignity and respect to all.”
D’Marquis Allen, a representative of SMU’s Association of Black Students, said, “Thank you. You all listened to our concerns, and I express my gratitude.”
Ariana Hamilton, president of College Hispanic-American Students, said, “I’m just so excited to thank you. After the vandalism happened, I was nervous to see how the student body and senate would respond, but I’m very happy with your response.”
Oscar Cetina, president of SMU’s chapter of Sigma Lambda Beta fraternity, said, “Thank you for this legislative initiative. We still have a long way to go for an environment where all people are treated equally.”
Zain Rizvi, president of the Muslim Student Association, said, “This is a big deal and a big step for the SMU community. This is great.Keep up the good work.”
Kim Elmazi, chair of the Senate Diversity Committee, said, “I address you as a member of the Senate and as a student: thank you for all your hard work and concern.”
She then read an email correspondence from President Gerald Turner, which mentioned the president’s commission on the Status of Racial Minorities’ mission to “promote an environment of individual dignity and worth.”
Student Body President Alex Mace, in his weekly address to the chamber, thanked every visitor for coming to Senate and representing their organizations, said, “It’s encouraging to know that we’re doing our job.”