WCSC adopts diversity resolution

Discussion that led to the resolution began at the Oct. 18 WCSC meeting, sparked by actions of The Koala, a student publication that the council saw as discriminatory.

Warren senators, however, said that the need for the resolution existed prior to the discussion.

“”Ignorance exists at and beyond UCSD,”” said Junior Senator Lauren Lee. “”We should be striving every day as a council and campus to reaffirm our commitment to education and awareness on issues of all forms of diversity.””

WCSC Sophomore Senator Kevin Hsu helped write the resolution.

“”Discrimination, prejudice and hate exist on our campus, even when they are not visible,”” Hsu said. “”Only by taking action ourselves to better appreciate diversity and confront hate can we hope to establish our campus as a place of respect and understanding.””

In addition to affirming First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and the press, the resolution implements a structured plan for upholding the UCSD Principles of Community, and for increasing education and appreciation for diversity in all forms.

The resolution adds a line item within the WCSC budget for diversity-related programs. It also requires increased educational programming at Warren college, regular self-education presentations during council meetings, and a diversity training session for the council directed by an expert on the subject.

Also included is mandatory outreach to a high school with large populations of groups underrepresented at UCSD.

The resolution called for the creation of committees to examine diversity appreciation and hate at Warren college, and to oversee enactment of all the action items.

Hsu said the decision to write the resolution — although initially sparked by the Koala controversy — was ultimately made on the basis of a desire for diversity and awareness within Warren college and the greater UCSD community.

“”Our view was that we had to address our own situation before we could start improving other organizations on campus,”” Hsu said.

Co-author Doug Hanes said the original plans were to write a resolution against The Koala. However, Hanes said, the council decided that what was really needed was “”a resolution that had teeth in it.””

“”We wanted something that didn’t just deal with The Koala, but something that we could carry out,”” Hanes said. “”We felt that the best way to combat hate was to educate ourselves as a council, and we decided to take a proactive role [with this resolution].””

Lee said many of the committees outlined in the resolution have already formed.

“”We’ve already signed up for at least one committee, and all of the committees are meeting this week to develop a plan of action so that all of them will be up and running by next quarter,”” Lee said.

Lee added that it was important that the resolution include action beyond the resolution itself.

“”We wanted to set forth actual goals that were attainable, that we knew we could do,”” she said. “”I was very pleased with the final product because I knew that we’d be able to do it.””

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