The Student Association has made many changes in the structure of its Cabinet system in recent months, but the most prominent change is in its Student Awareness and Multicultural Affairs Departments, as SA President Haley Anderson explains.
In the past, the two departments have had been grouped together and given similar goals and tasks, leading to a lot of ambiguity between the two. The two departments were then restructured to define the distinction between the two. The Multicultural Affairs Department has now split into two separate departments: International Student Relations and Diversity and Multiculturalism.
“We wanted to make sure that we were serving both international and domestic minority groups,” Haley explains, “and with all of the current events happening in the country and in the world involving these minority groups, we wanted to make sure that they know that the University of Tulsa cares.”
Now, the Student Awareness Department is focused mainly on the mental and physical health of the students, as well as things such as sexual assault awareness and prevention, sustainability initiatives, cancer awareness and personal safety.
The Department of International Student Relations, headed by Rapha Ngassa, is now focused mainly on international student affairs and issues.
It will partner with many international groups as well as student organizations on campus to bring awareness about international current events and help international students feel included on campus.
The Department of Diversity and Multiculturalism, headed by Kyla Sloan, is focused on domestic minority students and groups. “What I think is really great about these departments, though, is that, even though they’re separate, they still work together,” she explains. “They might have different demographics, but they can still collaborate.” Right now, they are in the processes of planning events to bring up issues of racism not only in the country but in the world as well.
With all of these new changes in the SA system, Haley is confident that getting involved is now easier than ever. Right now, SA is promoting its new Student Experience Counsel. It meets at the end of every month, it’s a place where SA reports what it has planned in the upcoming month but also opens the floor to feedback. Students can voice their opinions about the issues affecting the campus. The first one is on September 26 at noon in the Student Union.
When asked about any final thoughts, Haley only had one. “SA has kind of been on its own level in past years, but I don’t think that’s the best way to go about things,” she states. “SA should reach out into the community and work in conjunction with student groups because everyone is apart of it. TU is an experience, and SA can really help make that an amazing experience.”