Student Community Government, Inc. talks accolades and accommodations
Assistant News Editor
During the Student Community Government, Inc. parliament meeting last Wednesday, representatives affirmed their support for a new resolution to improve inclusiveness for the LGBTQ community on campus. According to SCG President Jose Rosario, the committee felt it was “imperative for the student body to have someone who specializes in LGBT rights and who can also deal with the emotional turmoil that comes with the journey of coming out or being accepted on campus.”
Rosario said that it was his hope that the new resolution would provide resources for students outside the campus and that the resolution would see the hiring of a coordinator to oversee the support system. Also voicing strong support was Commuter Representative David Sears, who said that if this resolution were to pass it would be a “significant step forward for the LGBTQ community on campus” and that it was “a community that I personally take great pride in representing.”
During an open discussion, Speaker Patrick Hurd brought into session the possibility of establishing a student nominated award for professors who best utilize open resources (that is, teaching materials that are not copyrighted and are open to the public).
Hurd went on to suggest that those selected for the award would not receive a monetary gift, but rather accolades or recognition for using open resources. The topic of open resources was discussed at length as college affordability seemed to be on the minds of many members of the student government.
Hurd pointed to a nursing textbook at Rhode Island College that was recently exchanged for an open resource. The original textbook, “would normally cost $500… there are 1,000 students taking that class. So that is $500,000 already being saved,” said Hurd.
Interim Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Scott Kane suggested that a series of awards be established covering a range of teaching qualities students wished to recognize, such as “integrating current events” into their teaching plans or for faculty who best incorporate “diversity topics into the framework of lectures.”
Kane said that such awards “would be very meaningful for students” as well as “incentive for faculty to touch upon topics that are important to students.”
The notion of student nominated awards resonated with the others in attendance, and many agreed that there should be more than just one award.
“I think this is a wonderful idea…that increases student/faculty relations,” said President Rosario.
Vice President Maria Zapasnik spoke positively of the suggestion, saying that such awards would “improve morale.” \ She went on to add, “I have two parents who are teachers, hearing from a student that you’re a great teacher is one thing, but from people you work with, people who are above your position saying you did a great job makes you improve even more.”
However, Zapasnik went on to warn that such awards would need to remain fair for all majors, indicating that majors like Music and the Studio Arts would be unable to use a lot of open resources due to the very hands nature of those courses.
President Rosario suggested that a committee be established to formulate the new awards and made an open invitation to anyone present who was interested in drafting proposals for such a committee to approach him.