Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

SGA discusses Organization Recognition and Review Board


Members of the Student Government Association heard presentations about the Organization Recognition and Review Board and diversity and inclusion in the classroom during its meeting on Tuesday.

Kassandra King, the SGA vice president, announced to members that applications for the Organization Recognition and Review Board are now available on eCommon, and there is a new recognition option available this year. She said this will serve as a potential solution to the unusually low budget the SGA is faced with this year.

She said in the current system, an organization officially recognized by the college receives funding either from the SGA or from a corresponding department.

Now, organizations will be able to become college recognized, receiving all of the perks that come with that title—including the use of campus activity space, an invitation to the Winter Organization Fair, and a mailbox in the campus center—without receiving SGA funding, according to King. They will instead do their own fundraising.

“We want to give as many options as possible,” said King. “And I, along with Executive Treasurer John Dentinger, am willing to help organizations come up with ways to fundraise.”

All campus organizations that wish to receive funding from the SGA must have a hearing with the review board, where they present their constitutions, executive boards, active members, and advisors, among other things.

After the hearing, the Organization Recognition and Review Board will make a recommendation to the SGA on whether or not the organization should receive recognition and funding.

King said she will be holding workshops throughout the month to explain this new option—along with the rest of the recognition packet—to the heads of all the organizations on campus. Organization leaders seeking recognition must attend a workshop if they wish to apply for a hearing, she said. These are separate from the appeals workshops for currently recognized organizations held by Dentinger.

Robert Amelio, the college’s first director of diversity education and human relations, joined the SGA for a discussion on diversity and inclusion on campus, which he said is his top priority. This is his first semester at Emerson.

“I want to know where students think we are doing good work, and where we need to enhance it,” said Amelio on inclusion in the classroom.

Members of the SGA shared their experiences and opinions on how diversity can be encouraged by professors, and offered ideas for improvements.

Rebecca Contreras, the Communication Studies senator, said she thinks classroom discussions could be improved if students were encouraged more to showcase what makes them diverse.

Jon Allen, class of 2014 president, suggested faculty diversity training as a solution.

Amelio said he is working with Sylvia Spears, the vice president for diversity and inclusion, on these efforts, and will be speaking to faculty and students about their experiences throughout the year.

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