SGA holds town hall for OEI concerns, still preparing course of action

Written By Erin Yudt, SGA Beat Writer

On Sunday at 6 p.m., the Student Government Association (SGA) held a town hall meeting in the Fishbowl (Lawrence Hall 200) to hear student perspectives on the Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI) dispersal after sending out an email the night before, requesting at least one student from each club represent their organization’s stance.

Representatives from the Forward Party, Uno Club and GSSA attended the town hall, along with other students.

The meeting, run by SGA Vice President Kendra Summers and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Chair Eli Bagaporo, began with a debriefing on the organization’s learning of the upcoming changes to the office. The meeting between administrative officials and some of the SGA executive board that occurred about two weeks ago was also discussed.

“We [SGA executive board] met with members of administration, like Don Green [and] Michael Soto and didn’t know about the time for this meeting until one to two days before,” Summers said. “When asked about why SGA was not consulted about this issue before a decision was made, Don Green simply said he ‘forgot.’”

Also, in the meeting summary, Bagaporo discussed the few meetings with members of the OEI and administration.

“Vince [Rugani], Vanessa [Love] and Amanda [Avampato] did meet with administration and discussed their concerns about the increase in requests for their services, but they were not consulted on the final decision,”  Bagaporo said. “They [the administration] just decided that disbanding the office would be best for them… OEI had nothing to do with the decision and do not want this to happen.”

Summers reiterated that these conversations about the disbandment had been occurring “for a while, since about December,” which administration confirmed in the meeting. It was also stated that the change was going to occur “during the summer when no students were here [on campus].” President Don Green has previously said to The Globe that the plans to move people and positions across campus did not materialize until recently and that it reportedly was a mutual decision. 

The two additionally discussed where exactly each member of the office would go and reassured students that their services would not go away.

“As Vanessa, Vince and Amanda are very stressed, they [administration] want to send them to different areas where they can ‘get more help,’ but we [SGA] truly feel that they are just going to get swept under the rug,” Summers said. “They [administration] say they ‘want to include OEI in every office,’ but they still need a separate office for their services.”


SGA plans to send a survey to gather students’ thoughts on the dispersal to gain a better understanding, as the town hall meeting was announced to students fairly late.

The following day, SGA met for their weekly legislative body meeting where they had a special guest of Kristy Weiss, CulinArt’s General Manager, who discussed Culinart’s potential plans for next year.

“We plan to renovate the Cafe over the summer,” Weiss said. “We would have many stations like Chipotle, Chick-Fil-A, The Grill, a deli and salad station, some grain bowls and many more vegan and vegetarian options.”

Weiss also divulged that the plans are to create “frictionless dining,” where students would not need to stop at the cash register.

“The technology and cameras would track what exactly you are getting,” said Weiss. “We would have an app where you [students] can preorder and pick up your meals at the cubbies… This app would also allow you to preorder at the Perk.”

With this new model, the market may be able to be open 24 hours a day, everyday, but this is a “strong maybe” and that the food stations would “most likely” follow their normal hours, like this year. 

After this visit, members discussed last week’s drafted press release and resolution.Communications director Drew Simko gave some updates as well.

“Kairi [Stallsmith] and I still have been working on the press release based on last week’s comments,” Simko said. “But there were no comments on the document, so it is still a work in progress.”

The group plans to reevaluate these items during next week’s meeting.