University Senate

Kiera Raymond, Lode Writer

On March 2, the University Senate invited the Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion, Dr. Wayne Gersie, to give a presentation regarding “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and a Sense of Belonging at Michigan Tech.” He highlighted the Office of Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion (OVPDI) missions “among the many facets of diversity, equity, and inclusion, none are quite as important as a sense of belonging. Belonging means you’re an integral part of a community where you can explore and grow with others who will support you.” Dr. Gersie encouraged Senate members to change the demographics of MTU at a departmental level. He told the members that changes have to happen in all aspects of Michigan Tech’s campus and it shouldn’t just fall on OVPDI or the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, although they are the ultimate resource, the way to create a sense of belonging in our community is when each department creates a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging plan.

  Questions were asked about the OVPDI plans for more accessibility on campus. Gersie recognized the gap they have now with this problem and told faculty (and students) to reach out if they had any ideas on how to make campus more accessible. Later in the meeting in the “President’s Report,” Nathan Ford of Graduate Student Government (GSG) spoke of GSG’s, new initiative. GSG, the University Senate and other related organizations are tackling this problem by creating a committee to combat accessibility issues. This committee is filled with graduate students, undergraduates, and staff members. They are currently trying to fill more faculty positions on this committee. Once the committee is finalized, they will be sending a survey to campus to see areas where campus can make logical improvements. 

The Senate passed multiple proposals: including: 21.22 to add a B.S. in Business Analytics, Proposal 22.22 to add a Pre-Pharmacy concentration in the B.A. Chemistry degree program, 28.22 to shelf the degree M.S. in Applied Science Education, 29.22 the establishment of a new graduate certificate in Public Policy, and 32.22 approved amendments to Senate Procedure 108.1.1. 

The University Senate closed the meeting’s mentioning the support of Ukraine and Ukrainian students by attending the demonstrations on Thursday and Friday at noon by the Husky Statue. They will meet again on March 23 at 5 p.m.