SA Senate refines membership qualifications for diversity and inclusion assembly

Media Credit: Connor Witschonke | Staff Photographer

Sen. AJ Link, Law-G, sponsored a bill updating the bylaws of the diversity inclusion assembly.

The Student Association Senate unanimously approved a bill Monday updating the bylaws establishing the SA’s diversity and inclusion assembly.

The bill clarifies the definition of a multicultural student leader as a student who currently holds an executive board position in a group categorized by the Center for Student Engagement as an advocacy and awareness, civic engagement, cultural or ethnic or faith-based organization. The vice chair of the assembly is also required to be a student leader.

The bylaws require that at least five student leaders serve on the assembly, in addition to senators. The assembly launched last month to provide a forum for SA and student leaders to discuss concerns about diversity and inclusion efforts at GW.

The bill requires that the SA’s vice president for community affairs serve as an ex-officio member of the assembly. The SA’s director of interfaith engagement and Program Board’s director and assistant director of diversity and inclusion also serve as ex-officio members of the group, according to the bill.

Previously, the SA’s vice president for diversity and inclusion was the only ex-officio member of the assembly.

Sen. AJ Link, Law-G and a sponsor of the bill, said the updated legislation will distinguish between student groups that classify as multicultural and those that are not multicultural, allowing student leaders to better understand if they would qualify for a seat in the assembly.

“We think that way, with that language and with those specifications, we have a larger umbrella of people we can bring in and get more voices of what’s going on on campus,” Link said in an interview.

The bill also clarified the process for student leaders to apply to the assembly. Student leaders can now submit applications on a rolling basis to the chair of the assembly or to the senate pro tempore.

Applicants for the assembly will be interviewed by the group’s chair, the pro tempore or by members of the governance and nominations committee. Senators will then approve nominees with a simple majority.

Eight student leaders were approved to serve in the assembly during Monday’s meeting.

The SA Senate also filled two first-year graduate and three freshman senator seats. The SA Senate approved a bill earlier this month requiring that first-year senators undergo the same appointment processes as other voting members, though first-year senators cannot vote during their first semester.

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