Part of the reason we decided on the #ForTheBearcats theme is that we recognize the individual identities that we all bring to campus. For the Student Interest focuses on the importance of these identities and how we can best highlight and serve their needs.
A. Prayer and Meditation Areas
1. Why? We are a large public University; the second largest in the state of Ohio. We as a University are vastly behind in our accommodations to students looking for a safe and open space to worship, meditate, and/or have a quiet peaceful location for spirituality.
2. Who? Students looking for somewhere to pray and/or meditate. For students of all and no religions.
3. What? A new location for students that is prepared and purposed as a non-denominational prayer/meditation area
4. How? Similar to study room expansion in Campus Services section.
B. Co-Op and Job Placement for International Students
1. Why? Our University prides itself on the experiential learning we offer our students. However, the international student community has been neglected in terms of the opportunities available to them for co-op and internships.
2. Who? International students in required and non-required co-op programs
3. What? Make sure that career services understands that international students are being forgotten in this realm and put more resources and effort to finding them more opportunities.
4. How? We will ensure that we lobby the correct University offices for a heavier focus on jobs for international students. Long-term, it would be ideal for a position to created to exclusively do this, but that requires a great deal of planning and funding within those offices. This is a great first-step in that ideal.
C. Halal and Kosher Dining Options
1. Why? A great way for the University to be inclusive of more of its diverse student community is to offer different programs and initiatives that would reach a different group of students than normal. A pilot program of offering different foods at dining halls is one of these programs.
2. Who? Students who have dietary restrictions or practice different food preparations at home/in their cultures
3. What? This would start as a pilot program with only a few dates in the semester where Halal and Kosher options would be served and would begin at one of the dining halls.
4. How? Aramark already has these services in its repertoire, it just needs to be started and utilized here. This would an initiative that uses very similar campus resources as the meal plan swipe expansion by working with Food Services.
D. Gender Neutral Housing Expansion
1. Why? We currently (technically) accommodate any student who opts into the Gender Neutral Housing options. However, our University’s options for these students is the bare minimum. To be a truly inclusive University, we need to expand and build up our Gender Neutral Housing options to lead the charge in inclusivity of all students, not just follow the pack and make changes when absolutely necessary.
2. Who? Students and incoming students seeking Gender Neutral housing.
3. What? Dedicate more housing to gender neutral spaces, move some outside of Stratford Heights
4. How? This is a problem that needs more money to fix it. The University has a LGBTQ center, but they need more staff and resources if they can truly accommodate a gender neutral housing program. It will be our job to find the money and lobby for it.
E. Support for Equity and Inclusion
1. Why? The student identity and the rights of those identities is always one of the most important portions of what a University should be supporting.
2. Who? All students, specifically the groups that students identify with
3. What? We want there to be a better relationship between Student Government and all of the identity groups. SG has a lot to offer, from money to marketing to staffing and assisting with events.
4. How? Student Government is going to see an increase in funds from a decrease in internal areas of the group. Essentially, SG is going to have more money to use and we want to be sure that we take advantage of that to help support ongoing external initiatives. Also, we think this is a great way for us to utilize the cabinet positions that are related to these student interest areas and groups so that there is more of an external connection between SG and the rest of the University outside of just the Senate.