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MUSG hears proposal to strengthen diversity committee

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The coordinator for Marquette Student Government’s Committee for Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice argued Monday that student representatives need to pass legislation to strengthen the committee created last semester.

Esther Aviles, a freshman in the Colleges of Arts & Sciences, said her committee has been working to set an agenda for the rest of the year.

“The committee aims to address diversity issues specific to Marquette University, by creating an inclusive campus climate in which diversity acceptance and cross-cultural understanding are demonstratively valued,” Aviles said.

Aviles asked for help from the senators to author legislation that would protect the committee’s legitimacy, arguing that “certain events” have shown the importance of protecting its efforts.

“We hope to create legislation to prevent the future of the Committee of Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice name on legislation that is not endorsed unanimously by the committee,” she said.

Aviles also said her committee was in need of legislation that clarifies the duties of committee members and states who has the power to remove them.

Executive Vice President Natalie Pinkney, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said the Resident Hall Association appoints one member to the committee, two members are appointed by MUSG and the rest are appointed by Aviles.

Members can only be removed by the organizations that appointed them. Aviles hopes to change that.

“We hope to create legislation that grants the committee the power to immediately remove a member if they are unanimously found to undermine the duty of the committee,” Aviles said.

Other updates Aviles mentioned include efforts to create a logo and brand the committee so it can be more easily recognized. Aviles is also working with senators to draft a budget for the committee. Creating a diversity tab on the MUSG webpage and drafting a diversity pledge are also in the works.

“Our hope for the pledge is that it becomes a staple to the Marquette culture,” Aviles said. “We have been working with (University President) Lovell and hope to have it implemented at convocation,” she said.

The senate also passed two smaller pieces of legislation at the Monday meeting. The first was for a restructure of the communications department and the second was to allocate $2,175 for the Neighborhood Cleanup event on March 28. The funds will cover the cost of a lunch provided after the event, as well as shirts for participants to wear during it.

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