During its second to last meeting of the academic year Tuesday night, Associated Student Government (ASG) was busy pushing through last-minute legislation, including four bills that tackled a wide array of issues at Miami University.
Among the bills passed was a resolution that allows ASG’s Diversity Affairs Council (DAC) to elect students who will assist the Office of Admission in recruiting minority high school students – all in an effort to improve diversity at Miami.
“On this campus, improving diversity is improving the awareness that Miami is not as homogenous as people think,” said Secretary for Diversity Affairs Rob Lewis. “There are a lot of different groups (43) on campus and those are just the ones that are active.”
Lewis defined a diverse student as any student who self-identifies with a particular culture.
Student body president elect, Jens SutmÃ¶ller, also said that diversity should not be thought of only in terms of race. He said the idea for this bill came from appeals form the admission office at the beginning of the year to foster relationships between current and prospective Miami students.
Specifically, the resolution mandates that DAC will elect five minority students at the beginning of the next academic year who will work at least five hours a month in the Office of Admission. They will conduct recruiting programs such as high school visits, tours, tele-recruiting, special events and group visits, for as long as people are willing to do the work, Lewis said.
SutmÃ¶ller said that the Office of Admission has approached ASG and other organizations multiple times regarding possible ways to include current students in the admission process.
“The admission office would like to go to high schools with (current Miami) students instead of paid (employees),” he said.
Despite supporting the idea of the legislation in its attempt to increase diversity at Miami, SutmÃ¶ller said that he was unsure of when or if results of the initiative will be seen.
“I don’t know how long it’ll be until we see (the results) on-campus,” SutmÃ¶ller said. “And if we ever tangibly see the impact of this, I don’t know.”
Lewis also added that the resolution is the first organized effort by DAC to recruit more diverse high school students.
“This (resolution) definitely has the potential to influence Miami’s (diversity) numbers,” he said. “For (a minority student), this might be what they’re waiting for.”
Fashion show audit underway
ASG’s funding committee has also begun auditing the controversial Project M Runway fashion show, put on by the Miami University Club of Fashion Design and Merchandising (MUCFDM) April 6.
The fashion show was granted approximately $50,000 by ASG earlier this year.
According to ASG Treasurer Brendan Buholzer, the audit subcommittee met with MUCFDM Friday to go over receipts for 97 articles of clothing used during the fashion show.
Tuesday night, ASG approved a bill for the audit subcommittee to repossess the clothes – worth around $4,000 – worn during the fashion show. ASG will store the repossessed clothes over the summer in a lockbox in the ASG office.
Buholzer said ASG representatives will meet with MUCFDM members Friday to discuss possible locations to store clothes. He said the group is “cooperative” and that the results of the discussion may differ from what the bill suggested.
However if, at anytime, the MUCFDM provides ASG with a detailed written report concerning the “future use and/or storage of such goods,” and the audit subcommittee approves it, then MUCFDM will be able to keep the clothes.
According to Buholzer, the repossessing of the clothes is entirely separate from ASG’s audit of the fashion show. Buholzer said the clothes are considered university property and need a secure storage space over the summer.
The audit subcommittee still has to audit several other items funded for show, including accessories, stage costs, hairstylists services, and transportation. He hopes that the whole process will be finished by Tuesday, April 24.
ASG offers recommendation for night driving service
ASG also approved a resolution that will send recommendations to the Nighttime Door-to-Door Service. Outlined recommendations include improved promotion and
advertising of the service, a better system to notify clients when the van arrives, as well as possibly increasing the number of vans.
Student Body President Brian Alexander said the recommendations were drafted due to student complaints received in an online survey conducted this past September.
“This is what students have been voicing to me and ASG,” Alexander said. “This will take a more critical look at the service.”
After being approved by ASG, Alexander said the recommendations will be sent to a Miami University implementation team, chaired by Jane Goettsch, director of Miami’s Women’s Center, and John Ward, coordinator of clinical and men’s services at Miami’s student counseling services.
Students agree changes need to be made to the Nighttime Door-to-Door Service.
“It would be more used if it was more dependable,” sophomore Mandy Paulson said.
In addtion, ASG revamped Miami’s Residence Hall Association (RHA) by reforming RHA’s election process.
According to Desmond Sumiya, author of the Reform Act, RHA currently has no guidelines for elections.
“There’s a lot of people who don’t know about elections,” he said. “It’s ridiculous when you don’t know who your representatives are.”
Reformations to RHA elections include better publicity as well as a system that better incorporates resident assistants and residence directors in the election process. Candidacy forms must now be posted on RA’s doors 10 days before the deadline for declaring candidacy.
Information about the election process will also be distributed through listserv e-mails.
According to Buholzer, who served as RHA president for the 2006-07 academic year, the RHA Constitution currently has no clause pertaining to the process of Hall Council elections.
“This brings standardization, responsibility, and accountability to elections,” Sumiya said. “By changing the ways of elections, more people will be aware of what’s going on (with RHA).”