SGA discusses diversity and equity training, drafts statement in solidarity with marginalized groups


Bianca Cseke | The DePaulia

DePaul University Lincoln Park campus.

Liz Ortiz, vice president of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, joined DePaul’s Student Government Association (SGA) during its general body meeting on Thursday to discuss training in diversity and equity. 

Ortiz explained the office offers training and workshops in areas focused on implicit bias, anti-racism, structural racism and microaggressions.  

 This year, the office has held 16 BUILD workshops and has other events coming up including a virtual event to celebrate the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

 “We do believe [these events are] a way to create community and bring people together,” Ortiz said. 

 Along with these workshops, Ortiz discussed the Student BUILD program. Set to begin in February, the program will work in partnership with SGA and will promote diversity “within a social justice framework,” according to Ortiz. 

Afterwards, SGA drafted a statement expressing its support of marginalized groups at DePaul following last week’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. 

 “We, as the Student Government Association (SGA) of 2020-2021, are here to stand in solidarity with DePaul University’s Black, Brown, Jewish and Muslim students, faculty and staff to show our support for all marginalized communities affected by the fascist insurrection at the United States Capitol, and the continued acts of white supremacy that have been deeply embedded in our society and upheld by our institutions,” read the statement. 

 SGA’s statement, obtained by The DePaulia, stands in solidarity with DePaul’s Black Student Union, who released a statement this week calling on the university administration to implement some of its initiatives. Their statement comes after the attack on the Capitol.  

 “Above all else, as the Student Government Association, we stand in solidarity with the Black Student Union and endorse their demands for DePaul University to provide more resources and support for BIPOC students,” continued the statement. 

 In addition, SGA denounced “appalling comments” made by John Catanzra, the president of Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police, regarding the attack on the Capitol according to the statement.  

 Following the discussion with Ortiz, SGA  discussed other items on its agenda for this week. 


President’s Report 

SGA President Alyssa Isberto provided an update on SGA’s resolution regarding the resolution it passed last week to reimplement the pass/fail grading policy of spring and fall quarters.  

Isberto said the Faculty Council would not take up the resolution at this time, but that she is looking into other ways for the university to accommodate students by extending the withdrawal date for classes.  


Vice President’s Report 

SGA Vice President Watfae Zayed discussed her plan to work with Isberto to reach out to people from the university regarding the university’s Covid-19 vaccination plan after President A. Gabriel Esteban said the university would not require vaccinations during a faulty council Q&A session on Thursday.