SA Note: New SA official to tackle issues of hate and diversity

The Student Association Senate approved a director of diversity affairs Tuesday night in its meeting at Marvin Center amid an intensified look by the student government into issues of hate and diversity.

Senior Shannon Holmes, the appointee, said she will work with the SA to create a “commitment to values” document that will state GW’s pledge to support all of its students.

“We hope to foster an environment in a community that fosters diversity, integrity and honor,” Holmes said. “We want to redevelop GW into a tighter community.”

At Tuesday’s town hall meeting, Executive Vice President Brand Kroeger said the commitment to values must have substance to be effective.

“Everyone knows of Academic Integrity and that plagiarism is not allowed,” said Kroeger, a junior. “This needs to be the same with the (commitment to values).”

He added, “This shouldn’t be a bumper sticker campaign that ends when the fad goes out of style. We want this to stick as a tradition.”

The SA said it will reach out to the Residence Hall Association and student organizations when it drafts the commitment to values, Kroeger said.

“We do not want to rush through the process,” Kroeger said. “We want to be sure the final product takes into account every student’s input.”

Also during this week, SA Sen. OG Oyiborhoro (U-At Large), a junior, launched the “Stop The Hate” campaign in reaction to the recent hate crimes and will be proposing legislation that will lobby the University to better define hate speech.

He plans to form alliances with leaders in the multi-cultural community and with other groups, such as the Muslim Students Association and Peace Forum.

Oyiborhoro said that although he is working to combat racism and hate on campus, he said the recent hate incidents are not indicative of GW students.

“I do not feel that there is a lot of hate on campus, but when these incidents occur it is important to bring them to the forefront,” he said.

The Student Association Senate will meet again on Nov. 27.

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