University of Wisconsin’s student government officially created an Ad Hoc Diversity Plan Committee on Friday, granting increased representation for students in determining the campus Diversity Plan set to be unveiled this spring.
The 25 member committee will consists of five classified staff members, five academic members, five faculty members, five community members, two graduate students and three undergraduate students with one alternative member, according to an Associated Students of Madison statement.
ASM spokesperson David Gardner said the committee members could not be confirmed until Friday because quorum was not reached at the previous meeting before break. Therefore, he said some shared governance committees were unable to vote for their representatives.
He said some students were upset by the lack of students who would be part of the Ad Hoc Diversity Plan Committee, and the new committee structure better represents student interests.
The student members were the only members of the ad hoc committee who had been decided upon before Friday, according to ASM spokesperson Courtney Jackson. The remaining shared governance committees voted on staff and faculty members from the Campus Diversity and Climate Committee Friday.
“With all of us being able to meet together from different respective bodies and collaborate our ideas, I think that a really successful plan can be developed that far by will surpass in results than other plans have in the past,” Jackson said.
While complete diversity in every sense of the term is difficult to achieve, ASM Shared Government Committee Chair Britt Moes said the ad hoc committee is comprised of members representing and have a distinct interests in all types different types groups to be as inclusive as possible.
“It’s a lot easier when you have people who care about race, who care about sexuality and who care about gender; and then you have somebody else who cares about disabilities and religion,” Moes said. “It takes very qualified people to represent that and make it a lot more cohesive.”
Moes added the deadline to finalize the new Diversity Plan is April 1.
She is also involved in CDCC that helped establish the Ad Hoc committee, which will create the plan. According to Moes, the goal of the Diversity Plan is to promote diversity on campus in a broad sense.
“The diversity plan is to help increase diversity on campus in all realms, not just in color, but in any way, shape or form — related to culture, related to able bodies or disabled, related to religion — pretty much anything to get more scope.”
To do this, Moes said there is a long list of ideas in consideration for the new plan, with the restructuring of the university’s ethnic studies requirement on the top of this list.
According to Moes, some classes that fulfill the ethnic studies requirement, particularly within the music and anthropology departments, do not achieve what the requirement sets out to do: help students become more competent with multicultural issues.
“We want people to be able to go out and do an internship in the community so they’re actually getting real-life experience with diversity around the Madison area,” she said.