The student government voted unanimously to create a Student Ad Hoc Committee to advise a university committee on diversity issues in a meeting Wednesday.
According to an Associated Students of Madison statement, the Student Ad Hoc Committee will advise the University Ad Hoc Committee on the Campus Diversity Plan. It will be made up of four members within the Student Council, four at-large members appointed by Diversity Committee Chair Mia Akers and the four existing members currently appointed to the Committee for Diversity and Campus climate.
“The plan is set for release in the spring of 2013 and will impact students at UW-Madison for years to come,” the statement said. “ASM voted to support the creation of the committee in an effort to best exercise the shared governance and student input in campus decisions.”
ASM Press Director David Gardner said the idea for the the Student Ad Hoc Committee came from ASM leadership.
The committee will represent student opinions and act as a liaison to advise members of the University Ad Hoc Committee on the Diversity Plan, Gardner said.
“This committee will increase the quality of the plan to be more receptive to student concerns, and directly address our specific needs on campus.” ASM Diversity Committee Chair Mia Akers said in the statement. “The committee will make the student voice more apparent and will create more active student participation.”
ASM Shared Governance Committee Chair Sam Seering said he would want to give the committee everything necessary to be able to receive the student opinion.
In terms of innovative ideas, Seering said he would like to conduct a survey through the University of Wisconsin Survey Center to attain a fuller understanding of what the student body wants in the Campus Diversity Plan.
“I want them to have the ability to do whatever they need to do because the Campus Diversity Plan is going to impact every corner of this campus for years to come,” Seering said.
Seering said in his opinion and the opinion of others, the Diversity Plan from 2008 was an utter failure for UW.
Seering said the 2008 plan had no accountability standards, and because of this, nothing in the plan was actually implemented by campus.
“The reason that we have to have this new Diversity Plan is because of the failure of the  one,” Seering said. “If it hadn’t been a failure it would have just continued.”
The crux of the problem, Seering said, lies in the lack of sufficient and holistic input from the student population. He said the importance of creating a Student Ad Hoc Committee is to make sure student opinion is heard this time around.
At the meeting, ASM Chair Andrew Bulovsky, ASM Rep. Niko Magallon and ASM Rep. Devon Hamilton were appointed to fill three of the four membership positions within the Student Council body to serve on the Student Ad Hoc Committee. The Student Council also voted in approval to provide $1,000 in funding to the committee.