Academic Affairs Commission pushes for ethnic studies GE requirement at Feb. 18 ASUCD Senate meeting

Academic Affairs Commission pushes for ethnic studies GE requirement at Feb. 18 ASUCD Senate meeting

Photo Credits: AGGIE FILE

A one-course ethnic studies GE requirement would follow in the footsteps of California state colleges that have already adopted the practice

Senator Amanjot Gandhoke called the meeting to order in the absence of Vice President Emily Barneond at 6:10 p.m. on Feb. 18. 

The Academic Affairs Comission’s quarterly report highlighted a collaborative effort with the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Taskforce and the Ethnic and Cultural Affairs Commission to establish a general education requirement for ethnic studies. 

Commissioner Navreet Hundal, who presented the report, said she hopes they can put it into place in the next year or two, given that state colleges have already created a mandate for it

“It’s really important for us to follow in those footsteps,” Hundal said. “It’s just a one course requirement.” 

The commission is also looking into incorporating the syllabus for each class into Schedule Builder, mimicking similar course catalog layouts found at UC Irvine, according to Hundal. 

“It really helps if students are deciding if they want to take that fourth class to see if there’s a paper or a midterm, what the schedule is and how it aligns with their other courses,” Hundal said.

Other projects that the Academic Affairs Commission provided in the report include a survey requesting feedback about removing proctored exams due to accessibility concerns.

Clara Ginnell, the business manager for the ASUCD Bike Barn, and Meg Davis, the inventory manager, provided an update on how bicycle repair and the rental shop has navigated the ongoing pandemic since reopening in July. 

“We’ve taken a lot of COVID measures, which has allowed us to remain open without any exposures within the shop,” Ginnell said.

On top of a drop in sales, due to the lack of students on campus the shop will be losing its general manager Robert St. Cyr.

“He has worked with us for 24 years, so it’s definitely going to be a big change for us,” Davis said. “We’re going to miss him a lot.” 

The Bike Barn will be hiring a former employee as the general manager, and Ginnell said she is excited to see what comes next.

The ASUCD Entertainment Council presented their quarterly report, highlighting partnerships with HBO Max, the Mondavi Center and Healthy Davis Together which has been their main financial sponsor.

Galit Hara-Salzberg, the unit director for the council, said that they haven’t dipped into the funds that were allocated to the Entertainment Council this year because of the support.

“Because we got this funding from Healthy Davis, we’re going to be able to bring artists we would never be able to afford in a normal year,” Hara-Salzberg said. 

In partnership with the Mondavi Center, they have created free virtual open mics and have maintained virtual jackbox nights with students. 

Sammy Veres and Aparna Manoj, the co-chairs of the Mental Health Initiative, provided their quarterly report, which included a recent health conference as well as plans for mental health awareness month in May.

Senate bills #53 and #55 and Resolution #8, which is intended to recognize discrimination toward marginalized South Asian communities, were signed by ASUCD President Kyle Krueger with the resolution being forwarded to the administration. There were no actions taken on old or new legislation; the meeting ended early at 7:51 p.m. 
Written by: Kathleen Quinn — campus@theaggie.org