Bianca Cseke | The DePaulia
DePaul’s Student Government Association (SGA) highlighted the initiatives its members worked on last quarter in its Winter Quarter Transparency Report.
The report, obtained by The DePaulia, explains how SGA “advocated for student concerns, especially with the continued stress of remote learning,” and supported marginalized communities at DePaul during the winter quarter.
According to the report, SGA “released a statement condemning the violent insurrection at our nation’s Capitol and amplified the [Black Student Union]’s list of demands” to advocate for marginalized students and plans to release a solidarity statement in support of the APIDA community at DePaul, “further supporting their needs, especially with the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes in the past year.”
Other initiatives include working with different departments at DePaul to implement policies condemning hate speech, expanding DePaul’s ethnicity options on surveys and applications by adding a category for Middle Eastern/North African (MENA) students, and helping Club Sports get permission to use the DePaul logo in collaboration with DePaul University Athletics.
Last quarter, SGA passed resolutions related to grading options, sustainability, prioritizing early registration for commuter students and creating an ad hoc committee for graduation. SGA also signed onto three petitions.
During last quarter’s constitutional revisions, SGA added three new senator positions: two for intercultural awareness, including one that will represent LGBTQ+ students and a senator that will advocate for disabled students.
WQ Transparency Report by DePaulia on Scribd
Regarding its internal affairs, SGA held three training sessions “to increase the quality of our work and our service to the DePaul community,” and had sessions discussing ways to improve SGA.
In addition, SGA began releasing weekly newsletters detailing its weekly general body meetings in an effort to increase transparency.
The report further discusses the work of individual SGA members and committees.
SGA Treasurer Camila Barrientos updated the organization’s budget and presented it to SGA’s general body.
“Aside from the clearly designated Treasurer job, I continued to be an advocate at the general body meetings and in my everyday life,” the report read. “Nonetheless, I continue to work closely with the rest of the SGA cabinet and arrive at those meetings to ensure that the inner workings of this organization are maintained.”
Following the update from Barrientos, the chairs of SGA’s committees provided an update of the work they did throughout the quarter.
Marcus Robertson, SGA executive vice president of student affairs and head of the Student Affairs Committee, worked with SGA Senator for Commuter Students Cindy Rocha to start a video series that would help students learn about University Counseling Services (UCS) and its mental health counselors.
Wesley Janicki, SGA executive vice president of facility operations and chair of the Operations Committee, worked on projects related to sustainability such as holding SGA Sustainability Committee meetings and attending the “unofficial” DePaul Sustainability Group meetings, which consist of members of the DePaul community that advocate for implementing sustainability initiatives at DePaul, according to the report.
Janicki also helped with “larger SGA-wide projects” including collaborating with other SGA members to write a resolution calling on the university to continue the Pass/D/Fail grading policy implemented last year when classes moved online and helping to put on a “Dialogue on Student Advocacy and Leadership.
Robbie Merkel, SGA executive vice president of Diversity and Equity and chair of the Diversity and Equity Committee, has been serving as a student representative on DePaul’s Covid-19 Community Health Promotion/Education Team helping develop a vaccine promotion campaign geared towards debunking misinformation about the Covid-19 vaccines and working to organize a panel of medical and scientific experts to discuss vaccine efficacy.
Merkel was also appointed to the Hispanic Serving Institution Task Force and has been co-chairing SGA’s Undocumented Student Support Ad Hoc Committee alongside SGA President Alyssa Isberto.
Keith Norward, SGA executive vice president of Academic Affairs and chair of the Academic Affairs Committee has been serving as a member of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences’ (LAS) Grade Challenge Review Committee reviewing grade challenges students submit to the committee.
In each of the committee reports, the chairs provided an update of the initiatives their members worked on during winter quarter.
Editor’s note: Marcus Robertson, SGA’s executive vice president of student affairs, is also an editor for The DePaulia. Robertson does not report on SGA, nor does his involvement with SGA affect his reporting.