Speaking up for the misrepresented

Sarah Harris

The Global Engagement Fellowship has created a proposal and a petition that will be presented to administrators this week that recommends changes the university should take when dealing with diversity and minorities on campus.

The university changed one of the core values from diversity to inclusion this academic year. The end goal of the group is for the university to focus on diversity again, rather than inclusion.

Three seniors, Italo Alves, Lexie Gruber and Emmanuel Laboy developed the proposal alongside the Global Engagement Fellowship, and will present it to Executive Vice President and Provost Mark Thompson and Chief Diversity Officer Diane Ariza on Friday, May 1.

“We want Quinnipiac University to be an environment accommodating of every student, regardless of his or her ethnicity, race, gender, socio-economic background, sexual orientation, or country of origin,” said Italo Alves.

The petition states that the proposal offers “important solutions to improve the Quinnipiac University environment for students from underrepresented minority groups.”

The group has sent the petition around for QU students to sign. The goal of the petition is to show Thompson and Ariza the support they have from students to make the changes the fellowship are recommending.

The proposal addresses a few events that the Global Ethics Fellowship saw on campus. The most recent event, Walk-A-Mile, was mentioned. It is a philanthropy event held by Alpha Chi Omega that raises awareness about domestic violence against women where men will put on high heels and race against other men. On the flier for the event, it questions “Are you man enough?” The proposal states how this could be gender bias in the fall.

“The ad raised gender stereotypes, and considered only women as targets of domestic violence, which is not true,” according to the proposal.

Another event the proposal mentions is Kappa Alpha Theta’s Queso for CASA event. The sorority created a flier with maracas on it and Gruber went to twitter expressing her concern of the flier being culturally appropriated.

The proposal also addresses a campaign poster created last fall by two freshmen running for class president, that had the two men sitting in a tub of colorful balls with the slogan “We have the balls to represent you.” The proposal says it is “gender-based stereotypical, basically enforcing that women were not biologically empowered to represent the freshman class.” Gruber went to Q30 with concerns of the flier being gender bias.

Some of the recommendations they list include creating a minority liaison position with in SGA, mandatory diversity awareness sessions for students organizations and Greek Life and a list of recommendations for the Department of Residential Life.

An SGA liaison would create more widespread events that include diversity-related issues.

“The SGA minority liaison will work to integrate all student communities across the university, bringing the perspective of underrepresented groups to the table of discussions within SGA,” Alves said, “So that decisions are made and programs are created while taking into consideration their impacts on all communities on campus.”

There is a large emphasis on Residential Life in the proposal, which recommends the department should have more cultural diversity programs and more training on inclusion and diversity for Resident Assistants (RA).

Alves hopes the school takes the proposal into consideration.

“If the underrepresented communities are claiming that more diversity programs should be implemented, that means that they are not satisfied with the current environment,” he said.



Corrections: Jennifer Crane was misquoted in this article, it read:

“Resident assistants and hall directors deal with the ramifications of events that happen on campus as impact on students lives.” Crane did not say this.