SGA president reviews year, addresses “presence of inequality and racism”

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By: Cody Boteler, Editor-in-Chief

Student Government Association President Kurt Anderson said that Towson University students need to be aware of “the presence of inequality and racism in our own community” in his state of the SGA  video, released Tuesday.

“This is our time to make a profound impact and create a society that celebrates and embraces each and every individual,” Anderson said. “We must continue to build community with each other and fight against oppression in every form it appears.”

The publication of Anderson’s address comes just after the campus-wide launch of #NotAtTU, a campaign designed to draw attention to creating an openly and actively anti-racist campus climate. A formal kick-off of the campaign is schedule for Thursday in Freedom Square.

Anderson cited an initiative by the SGA to get hate/bias reporting procedures on every University syllabus—an initiative that has been so far unable to gain traction in the University Senate. Earlier this semester, the student government unanimously passed a resolution in support of requiring the information on all syllabi.

SGA President-elect and current Vice President Taylor James presented the initiative to the University Senate, said that she’ll continue to work to include hate/bias reporting information on syllabi in the future.

“We’re going to continue to work with the university senate along with the Provost’s Office until it’s in the majority of all syllabi on campus,” James said.

Currently, according to a 2012 “Faculty Evaluation Handbook,” information about the University plagiarism policy and policies for students with special needs, along with information about attendance and learning outcomes are all considered “required” information. In 2015, the Provost’s Office approved a list of “best practices” for syllabi that largely follow the same pattern.

The issues of racism on campus and hate/bias reporting have been brought to light multiple times this semester—from a student sit-in of the University President’s office to a unity rally in Freedom Square following reports of bias incidents in the CLA Café.

In his address, Anderson also drew attention to the partnership between the SGA and Towson University Police in launching the SaferMobility App at TU, which allows students to communicate in real-time with the police department if they feel unsafe.

The app allows for a live video feed and text messaging, rather than relying on traditional calls for emergency services.

The 95th SGA Administration will hand over the reins Friday, at an inauguration ceremony outside SECU Arena.

Coverage of the incoming executive board can be found here and Anderson’s full speech can be viewed here.

 

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