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Incoming UCS leadership discusses goals

President-elect, VP-elect to further current projects, general body approves UFB website funding

Shanzé Tahir ’19, president-elect of the Undergraduate Council of Students, and Camila Pelsinger ’20, vice president-elect of the council, outlined some of their goals for the next academic year at UCS’ general body meeting Wednesday evening. The general body also unanimously approved a proposal from Julian De Georgia ’20, vice chair-elect of the Undergraduate Finance Board, to fund a UFB website independent of the UCS site.

Tahir, who was elected in March with 82 percent of the vote, expressed her “full support” to reform the University’s system for bias-related reporting and to implement the Campus of Consent Bill — two initiatives UCS has adressed this semester.

On the implementation of the Campus of Consent Bill, Pelsinger said UCS is working to partner with “student peer education groups” such as the Peer Mental Health Advocates, Masculinity Peer Educators, Social Justice Peer Educators and Sexual Assault Peer Education. “All of those groups bring a different lens into issues of interpersonal harm,” Pelsinger said. “If we’re going to mandate that student groups go through trainings, it’s only fitting that we provide them options so that they can have the agency to decide what kinds of trainings best fit the needs of their student group.”

Current UCS President Chelse-Amoy Steele ’18 said that she has been able to secure funding for the Campus of Consent bill from the UCS budget. “I think that that will make it a lot easier for a lot of the partnering organizations to be on board … and it will be able to come from our budget,” she said.

Pelsinger, elected with 57 percent of the vote, also discussed creating “informal processes for … solving conflicts” related to interpersonal harm, an issue she emphasized during her campaign.

“We also want to provide meaningful support to the #FullDisclosure campaign, as well as the disability identity and cultural center,” Tahir added.

Steele also discussed the reformed bias-related reporting form, emphasizing that its development has been the result of collaboration between UCS and the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity.

“If it wasn’t a collaboration, this probably wouldn’t be happening,” she said, adding that “both (UCS and OIED) are really pushing towards this pretty aggressive timeline of being able to have a working service by the fall.”

Another priority for the upcoming year will be addressing “concerns on the cultural competency of health services,” Tahir said. She will work over the summer “to really be prepared to dive in when the fall semester starts.”

In a presentation at the start of the meeting, De Georgia requested $353.60 to fund an independent website for the Undergraduate Finance Board — a $216 annual fee for a Squarespace hosting plan, the same that UCS uses, and $137.60 to reserve the domain for 10 years.

Information about UFB and its policies became available through the UCS website earlier this semester, but having an independent website will decrease clutter and streamline student access to information, De Georgia said. “We’re really making a push to make sure that this is as transparent as possible,” he added.

De Georgia and UFB chair-elect Lisa Schold ’19 plan to use the website to issue reports on fund allocation, announce and explain policy changes and provide answers to frequently asked questions, among other purposes​, De Georgia said​.

After discussing the proposal for about 20 minutes, the general body voted unanimously to approve funding.

Next week, the general body will meet to summarize their work this semester, Steele said.

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