by Lila Letica, News Editor
The Student Senate held their first full meeting of the second quad on November 3rd in the Donnelly Center. They met to discuss issues plaguing students and are attempting to create change for the better for AQ’s campus.
The meeting began with liaison reports from each senator who was assigned a specific department to meet with in hopes to better connect students. In news from the Sustainability Center, they received a grant to get waste receptacles in each individual apartment–so watch out for those over Christmas break! The Counseling Health and Wellness Center has just hired another full-time counselor–make sure to visit lower Donnelly if you’re interested in signing up for their services.
The new Title IX Coordinator, Michael Szydlowski, stopped by the meeting to introduce himself to senators. He talked about wanting to build the program and help meet students’ needs. He said his, “goal is to do some listening.” Szydlowski seems very receptive to student needs and encourages people to reach out to him through the Title IX tab on AQ’s website, or stop by his office in AB 107.
The main topic of discussion at this Senate meeting centered around the Housing Contract’s Co-Ed policy. This policy states that, “Students may not have a member of a different sex in their own room past the Coeducational Visitation hours listed above.” This policy has been around a long time and is rooted in our Catholic Dominican tradition.
However, the Senate has raised concerns around the wording of the policy. The concern being the word “sex” is not inclusive. Sex refers to what a person is assinged biologically at birth. This word discludes students that differ from the sex they were assigned, or transgender students. The proposed word change would be “gender.” This would allow students to self-identify and make the policy more inclusive.
Inclusivity is a part of AQ’s mission statement as a college. President of Student Senate, Rebecca Beltran, states this would be, “a stepping stone for change.” The Senate is doing research in our sister university’s policies and plans on creating a committee wherein people can have productive discussions about this subject.
I’d encourage everyone to attend the next meeting on Wednesday, November 17th, from 3:15-5PM in JLH. These meetings are open to all students and if you have questions, concerns, or opinions on how to make AQ a better place–that’s what they’re there for!