Maximizing resource transparency is a priority for Student Government as we’ve all entered a unique semester with some students on campus and others studying at home. Lafayette has new and existing resources to help students transition into the virtual world, and sometimes it can be challenging to be acquainted with the abundance of them.

Student Government strives to promote the awareness of resources by increasing transparency within the student body. Every month, Student Government will be hosting at least one town hall that is open to students. Each town hall will have a theme, and speakers will be invited to share resources available to students alluding to the theme. Student Government aims to bridge the gap among the student body, faculty, staff, and administration by encouraging attendees to engage in dialogue and pose questions at the town hall meetings.

The first town hall of this semester will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 3. Student Government has invited Vice President Diorio, Provost Meier, and Vice President John O’Keefe. Registration is open on OurCampus!

VP Diorio oversees non-academic aspects of student life including living groups, religious programs, residence life, health and counseling services, student conduct, and discipline. Along with that, she is responsible for the offices of Athletics, Recreation Services, Title IX and Equity, Intercultural Development, and Public Safety. Provost Meier is the chief academic officer of the College. As the strategic partner to the president and cabinet, not only does he focus on maintaining the College’s mission and vision, but he is also responsible for significant budgetary and oversight of the academic program. VP O’Keefe leads Information Technology Services and is chief information officer. As we enter the virtual world, familiarizing ourselves with IT resources on campus has become crucial, more than ever.

By inviting these speakers who oversee significant areas at Lafayette, Student Government endeavors to promote the awareness of a plethora of resources.

Along with establishing monthly town hall meetings, Student Government members aim to enhance student life and have been working towards a variety of initiatives. The Academic Affairs Committee is cultivating a suggestion box to procure feedback from the student body on campus life. Along with that, the committee is setting up meetings with department heads to revise course evaluations during the online semester. The Student Organizations Committee is working on improving communication, support, and resources for clubs and organizations. The committee aims to approve new clubs and organizations for the fall semester as well as help them develop new club guidelines regarding equity and inclusion. The Equity and Inclusion Committee intends to continue the Pard Pantry that was launched last semester, spearheaded by representative Flor Caceres Godoy on campus. Representatives Fatimata Cham and Lola Dada will be creating a docuseries about the POC experience too. The Equity and Inclusion Committee met with VP Diorio to discuss resource equity. The committee will be working with the Student Services, Student Organizations, PR, and Academic Affairs Committees to broadcast IT resources and will be meeting regularly with the administration to address any concerns brought up by students. Additionally, representative Maria Salmeron will be working closely with CITLS to improve students’ classroom experience.

The Greek Life Committee aims to make Greek life a more inclusive and safer space. The revisions to Lafayette’s Greek Life Accreditation Program for the 2020-21 year ensure accountability from a majority of the chapter’s members (75%) as well as clearly outline what specific issues must be addressed in educational and reflective sessions. Over summer, the Student Services Committee has been working closely with the Academic Affairs and Equity and Inclusion Committees in collaboration with the Counseling Center to launch Student Government’s mental health initiative, The Resilience Project. This initiative aims to destigmatize mental health and increase the Counseling Center’s accessibility by making it more interactive, approachable, and inclusive. Committee directors Tanmaya Goenka and Luisa Gunn have met with Dr. Melissa Garrison, director of the Counseling Center, to discuss concrete actions to spread mental health awareness on campus and make the Counseling Center’s resources more accessible, not only for the next few months while we are working in a challenging period, but even in the long run.

Each Student Government committee is working towards concrete goals in the fall semester to acquire the best possible outcome to enhance student life. In order to maximize our prospects, we encourage the Lafayette community to provide us with feedback. The first of many town halls is at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 3, setting the foundation for increasing resource transparency at Lafayette. Sign up on OurCampus now!

Tanmaya Goenka ’21
Student Government Representative

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