Below is a recap of and notes from DePaul Student Government Association’s meeting on Thursday, Oct. 17. SGA discussed a proposal for a preferred name policy with LGBTQA Student Services Coordinator Katy Weseman, an environmental policy and met with dean of The Theatre School, John Culbert.
- Dean John Culbert: Dean of The Theatre School John Culbert spoke to the group first to discuss the variety of productions and events that the school will feature this year. He also noted that many faculty members within the school, particularly acting professors, are retiring.
- Preferred name policy: A proposed Student Preferred Name and Gender Policy was presented by LGBTQA Student Services Coordinator Katy Weseman. This policy updates Campus Connect so that students may choose the name that they go by on the site, as well as many other DePaul systems. These preferences will appear in all instances except when a legal name is absolutely necessary. Additionally, the official text of the document states that the name itself may not contain inappropriate language or any symbols other than a hyphen. A student may also change their gender to “unspecified” if they do not identify with their legal gender. However, as DePaul does not have gender neutral housing or card swipe systems at public restrooms, students that identify under the unspecified category will have to default to their legal gender in these regards. The policy is currently under review.
- “This policy, I’ll be really clear, does not solve all the issues that exist on this campus,” Weseman said.
- Ben Bui was appointed as the new Senator for the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.
- MAP Grants: President Vanessa Cadavillo urged general body members to call their representatives in the Illinois State House to lobby for MAP grant funding. Additionally, on Tuesday, SGA will have tables set up in the Student Center Atrium with laptops so that students may look up their local representatives and learn more about MAP funding in general. One in five DePaul students are MAP grant recipients.
- Course Evaluations: The general body discussed possible alterations to course evaluation questions, including a potential question that gauges a course’s adherence to Vincentian values and the degree to which the student felt that he or she was treated with respect. The potential changes will be reviewed by the Faculty Council.
- Carbon Community: President Cadavillo discussed the Carbon Community, which offers energy-efficient appliances through DePaul’s website. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of these appliances goes to DePaul’s sustainability fund.
- Interview: A Good Day DePaul interview with President Cadavillo about campus safety was recorded earlier in the week.
Vice President’s Report
- Vice President Ric Popp reminded the general body to keep the SGA office neat and to interact with students during their office hours.
- Treasurer Damian Wille discussed new scholarship opportunities, including a potential scholarship essay writing workshop.
- A new Financial Aid Advisory Board was established to help reach out to students who may have questions regarding financial aid. This board consists of SGA members.
- EVP of Operations Adrianna Kemper reported that Vinny Van hours for finals will be adjusted based on survey responses from midterms. The van will now run from 7 a.m. until 3 a.m.
- Senator for The School of New Learning Jocelyn McGee is working on an initiative to provide housing for the families of DePaul students that have children.