SGA talks petitions, vaccine rollout at general body meeting


Bianca Cseke | The DePaulia

DePaul University Lincoln Park campus.

DePaul’s Student Government Association (SGA) discussed a variety of topics during their general body meeting Thursday including three petitions they signed onto and their work in encouraging students to get the Covid-19 vaccine. 


During her president’s report at Thursday’s meeting, Alyssa Isberto discussed three petitions currently circulating around campus: one calling on the university to reinstate the Pass/D/Fail option, another requesting that the university make graduation regalia free for the class of 2021 and the third calling on the Biden administration to cancel $50,000 of student loan debt for all students. 

After presenting the petitions, SGA took a vote on each one, deciding to sign all three.

Vaccine Campaign Rollout

Robbie Merkel, SGA’s executive vice president of diversity and equity, recently attended a meeting with Health Promotion and Wellness (HPW) and DePaul’s communications team. They informed him that they sent out a survey to faculty, staff and student workers to “gauge interest in getting the [Covid-19] vaccine.”

Merkel explained that they are working on a vaccine promotion campaign and how they are trying to promote that. He added some students have sent in their vaccination information to the university, though the university is not requiring they do so, and that the team discussed if the university should require that students submit their vaccination updates.

Afterwards, Merkel said that the university plans to issue an advisory before spring break encouraging students and their families not to travel and a plan to launch the #DePaulAtHome initiative.

“They’re going to have kind of like this feature probably after spring break where students can submit photos talking about what they’ve been doing for the past 12 months,” Merkel said. “They would love if SGA members would submit photos of themselves at home.”

ISP Resolution

SGA passed a resolution calling on the university to commit to establishing an institutional sustainability plan (ISP) and hire a sustainability coordinator who would “aid and lead the ongoing pro bono work that students and faculty have been conducting as regards an ISP,” according to the resolution.

Wesley Janicki, SGA’s executive vice president of facility operations, went over the details of the resolution, adding that following the final installment of Student Pulse Surveys on sustainability, over 95 percent of the 3,031 students that responded support DePaul having an ISP.

MENA Solidarity Letter

Zayed explained that she and Isberto have been working to “expand ethnicity options to include a category for Middle Eastern and North African [MENA] students” at meetings with different university departments.

SheIn addition, Zayed discussed how the University of Illinois schools are also working on a similar initiative, and afterwards, SGA signed on to the University of Illinois at Chicago’s solidarity letter in support of the MENA Category Campaign.

Town Hall

Carolina Aceves, SGA’s senator for intercultural awareness, said there will be a town hall dialogue event on March 1 at 4 p.m. over Zoom. The event will focus on a dialogue on student advocacy and leadership on campus.