Senate Discusses Gender-Inclusive Housing and Approves Historical Society

Courtesy+of+United+Student+Government

Courtesy of United Student Government

Kristen McNerney, Contributing Writer

The United Student Government (USG) Senate reflected on recent successes and announced action plans for the semester at their meeting this past Thursday.

Executive President Kaylee Wong, GSB ’20, spoke about her experience at the Jesuit Student Leadership Conference during the winter break. She said sessions focused on marketing, divestment, and diversity and inclusion, specifically LGBTQ+ issues. Executive Vice President Ashley Qamar, GSB ’20, who also attended the conference, said some of the issues that came up in discussions included bias reporting, paid working positions for students and gender-inclusive housing.

In a joint effort with USG, the Jesuit Student Government Alliance wrote a gender-inclusive housing policy. Qamar presented a final draft of the document to be approved by the Senate. She said the goals of the policy are to encourage student activism, engage the larger student body in conversation and show transgender and gender non-conforming students recognition and support on campus.

“We want to address systemic barriers that prevent students from feeling that our campuses are their home,” she said.

The statement calls for the presence of dorms that are not based on traditional gender standards, as well as gender-inclusive bathrooms throughout campus. Sen.Tyler Raciti, FCRH ’21, spoke about the importance of showing solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community at a Jesuit university.

The senate approved Historical Society as an official club. President Kathleen Collins, FCRH ’21, said the club will allow for students to understand Fordham’s legacy more deeply, explore New York City’s past, conduct research projects, apply for federal landmark status and express their interest in history.

Collins said she hopes to have biweekly meetings that include watching documentaries and hosting guest speakers, as well as going on local excursions to museums and working on long-term historic preservation projects.

The USG is also looking to improve its social media presence. Senator Emily Silfies, FCRH ’20, said she has been working to gain an Instagram following for the Dean’s Council account and would like to feature students who are participating in research on campus. Vice President of Communications Thomas Reuter, FCRH ’22, spoke about enhancing USG’s website and newsletter.

Sen. Domenic Setaro, FCRH ’20, announced a new program with Aramark, titled “Rams for Rams,” in which students who are not able to afford a meal plan can request one for free on behalf of students who choose to donate their extra swipes. Setaro said he has also worked with the Dining Committee to bring new furniture to Cosi this semester.

Sen. Carlos Rico, FCRH ’21, announced a mic check event on April 3 at 7 p.m. in McGinley. The event is being co-sponsored by CSA, ASILI and the Bronx African American History Project.