Professor Jeffries re-introduces the Commission on Ethnicity, Race and Equity (CERE)
Associate Professor of American studies and Chair of the CERE Michael Jeffries wanted to reintroduce the Commission on Ethnicity, Race and Equity to the study body. He emphasized the importance of representation of faculty, student and union and nonunion staff within the commission. Jeffries also noted that while CERE works to increase diversity and inclusion on campus, it especially considers the dynamics of power and privilege that are at play within certain groups. In the past, the commission has addressed issues such as the relationship between people of color on campus and the town of Wellesley and examined protests, gatherings and the role of the campus police within these spaces.
Dr. Robin Cook-Nobles outlines mental health resources in light of finals period
Director of the Stone Center Counseling Service and Dean of the Office of Intercultural Education Robin Cook-Nobles noted the difference between mental health and mental illness, explaining that mental health should be considered in the same context as physical health. Mental health may vary, but it is not the same as having diagnosed mental illness. Cook-Nobles also emphasized that while finals period is a stressful time, it is also a normal part of the college process. Additionally, during finals the Stone Center, in conjunction with the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life (ORSL) and the department of Physical Education, Recreation and Athletics (PERA), will be releasing a “Take a Break” calendar that will list events that students can attend.
Raiz emphasizes dangers coming to Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
Gabriela Varela ‘20 and Laïssa Christelle Alexis ‘20, members of Raíz, a group that advocates for the rights of marginalized groups at Wellesley, announced that several countries’ TPS statuses have been threatened by the Trump administration. TPS grants temporary immigration status to designated countries. If TPS status is revoked, residents will be designated as “undocumented.” To support students whose TPS status is revoked or is in danger, Raiz is attempting to organize and demand that President Paula Johnson and the administration show support for these students.
Proposed Student Organizations Funding Committee (SOFC) referendum fails amidst student disapproval
On Nov. 26, a referendum was sent to the College regarding a SOFC policy change by two senators from Bates Hall. The policy proposed by the Student Bursar would cap e-Board retreat spending at $10 per person per retreat. The senators, Kira Hamilton ’21 and Elizabeth Borecki ’21, proposed that funding for e-Board retreats come from profits accounts only, with no SOFC funds allocated to organizations on this matter. Students were concerned that pulling retreat money from the profits account would put an unnecessary burden on the e-Board and the organization itself, as well as disadvantaging lower-income students from non-profit organizations. The senators who proposed this referendum, however, believe that SOFC providing any part of student activities fees to fund e-Board retreats encourages exclusive activity on campus, since it does not promote events that benefit the entire campus. The referendum, which required at least 200 signatures, did not pass, gaining only 140 signatures. The policy will revert back to the $10 per person per retreat cap that was voted on and approved on Nov. 13.