USGA in the Phoenix
The Ignation Leadership and Jesuit Spirituality Act
New legislation was passed in October by the Academic Affairs Committee of USGA. Says Tyler Hough, Senator and Chair of the committee, "The Ignation Leadership and Jesuit Spirituality Act" was crafted to show support for the creation of a course that focuses on Ignation leadership and Jesuit pedagogy. Since four of our fellow Jesuit institutions offer a similar class, and since we are the biggest within our category among the Jesuit schools, we feel it is only appropriate that this course be created." View Tyler's video about the legislation on our facebook page at facebook.com/LUCUSGA.
State of the Students Address
For the first time ever, Loyola's USGA held a state of the Student Address on October 3, 2012. The purpose for State of the Students Address was to give students the opportunity to hear USGA's strategic plan for the year, offer their input and ask questions. Chief Communications Officer, Kelsey O'Shaughnessy, states, "We believe that in order for USGA to run efficiently, we need the students to voice their concerns to us so that we may represent them in the best way possible. The State of the Students Address was a great avenue for discussion. We hope that the participation will continue to grow through our events and meetings, as well as through our office and online channels. USGA is here to represent the students. Their concerns are our concerns. We look forward to tackling issues for them and making real, measurable change in the university on behalf of the students."
USGA Reaches Out
For the first time, Loyola's USGA has come together to support it's community through service in multiple events this semester. On Friday, Oct. 26, members volunteered to help plant a local greenhouse. On Sunday, Oct. 38, members also partcipated in ((dop))'s wildly successful Trick or Treating event for local children. Says USGA President, Julia Poirier, "This is our time to give back to the community...[and] we hope to continue this as a USGA tradition." Finally, during the last few weeks of school, USGA will be collecting new, unwrapped toys to benefit a local charity called Atia's Project Ladybug Fund. These toys will be donated to children fighting cancer at Comer's Children's Hospital. Please stop by to donate a toy today, or go online to projectladybug.org/atias-fund to give a monetary donation.
The President's Corner
Letters from the President
A Letter to the Student Body About the Proposed Chief Diversity Officer Position
Originally printed in the Phoenix Fall 2012
If you have been following Loyola’s Unified Student Government Association (USGA), then you have mostly likely heard the term “diversity.” The word encompasses an array of ideas, so discussions about what it means and how the Loyola student body holds it as a value has always been a part of my conversations on the topic.
Previously, as a USGA senator, I heard students’ concerns around Loyola’s commitment to diversity. I knew the power of student voices and wanted to help mobilize around the issue. Throughout my campaign for president, students reached out to me to express their opinion on the subject and ideas on how they could get involved.
I want to take this opportunity to share my personal definition of the word and to express how I hope to see USGA as a catalyst for positive change on this campus for underrepresented voices. We have an exciting initiative underway.
My definition of diversity is simple: a wide variety of experiences and perspectives to draw from, an inclusive concept that is comprised of elements such as differences in race, gender, religion, age, physical and mental ability, sexual orientation, immigration and socio-economic status.
Now, the question students are asking is: If we truly believe in diversity what are we doing at an institutional, structural level to ensure we are cultivating a community filled with an array of perspectives, experiences and leadership styles?
The Unified Student Government’s Justice Committee is currently working on creating the position of the Chief Diversity Officer (CDO). The CDO is envisioned as an administrative position in the president’s cabinet who works toward improving campus climate for all individuals through the development of a strategic plan that will create a more equitable and inclusive university.
Loyola, as a supportive community and innovative institution, must pursue and retain an array of individuals from different backgrounds and social identity groups. We will continue to lead on issues facing our global community only as long as we have a diverse pool of talent from which to draw new ideas and ways of thinking. The CDO is an avenue for this kind of work.
To be clear, this kind of position is not meant to erase the voices that are already heard, but to act as a sort of microphone to voices that are marginalized in the conversation. We believe through active recruitment and retention of all voices, Loyola’s collective voice will be stronger.
Many Jesuit institutions already have this position and have seen progress, including Georgetown University, Boston College, College of the Holy Cross, Gonzaga University and Xavier University.
In light of the Supreme Court Case Abigail Fisher vs. University of Texas, which challenged the use of affirmative action in the college selection process, Fordham University, Boston College, Georgetown, Holy Cross, Marquette, Notre Dame and San Francisco filed an amicus brief before the Supreme Court. President of Fordham University Rev. Joseph McShane, S.J., said that if racial diversity is not considered in higher education, “such a turn of events would be the end of our Jesuit identity — a disaster for our students, for Catholic higher education and for the society we serve.”
So again, I join the students in asking: If we truly believe in diversity, what are we doing at a structural level to ensure we are cultivating a community filled with an array of perspectives, experiences and leadership styles? The CDO is one important possible answer.
The Chief Diversity Proposal
Chief Diversity Officer Proposal. If you have questions, comments or concerns, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.