Student Senate to focus on diversity

by Alysun O'Brien

Simpson students have a new student body diversity director this semester as part of a campaign to teach them more about the issue.

Junior Lisa Anderson has been appointed to the position by Student Body President Jake Abel and will be taking on a specialized and important role in the function of Student Senate.

“[Anderson] will be the official tie between diversity groups [Concerned Multicultural Students, International Student Organization and Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transgendered, Questioning Alliance] and Senate,” said Abel.

Anderson’s position will be consistent with the commitment from Student Senate and Simpson College to improve organization and communication among those leaders and organizations that promote diversity.

“Sometimes there are a lot of students that fall through the cracks,” said Anderson. “We hope to pick up the rest of the student body.”

Abel made the proposal to create the position of student body diversity director and Senate approved it with a unanimous vote. Abel appointed Anderson and the Senate confirmed the appointment.

Anderson will serve a one-year term coinciding with the term of the student body president.

“Diversity is an issue we talk about, but as students there isn’t a lot done,” said Abel. “Diversity deserves the attention of one student.”

Anderson hopes to follow some of the events that Bruce Cox had in place while he was in charge of diversity on campus. She has activities in mind, some which are similar to what Cox organized in February with a week of activities that included speakers, forum events and other multi-cultural affairs.

The diversity director will be a cabinet-level position in the same nature as the student body manager and the student body treasurer. The director will be present to report and advise at both cabinet and Student Senate meetings as a non-voting member according to Abel’s proposal.

The requirements for the director are that he or she must a be sophomore or older, be committed to the job and be pro-active with campus, Student Senate and college administration.

Abel said that he chose Anderson because he knew her opinion on the issues and that she truly cares about the diversity issues. He believes Anderson will be very pro-active. Anderson has been given free reign to do what she wants for diversity on campus.

“If students have any concerns about incidents in regards to minorities,Lisa is definitely easy to go to,” said Abel. “The cabinet and Senate need to hear about these concerns, and Lisa is the perfect way to send things up.”

Anderson said she has received positive feedback from the students thus far, even with the position being only two weeks old. She said she hopes students are comfortable coming to her with diversity issues.

“Diversity is important because we won’t stay in our small little towns forever,” she said.