There is one ticket running for the executive positions in Student Government Association this year. However, the ticket must receive at least 50% of the student body vote and one additional vote in order to win the seats. The ticket goes by the name CPP (Community, Passion, Progress), and is comprised of Thomas Wehby, Michaela Townsend and Mahnoor Zahra.
The platform is unedited to preserve their original language.
Our mission is to bring the diverse community of Xavier together to ensure the provision of equitable opportunity to every individual. Our united love and passion for our university will drive us to pursue the Xavier Values of integrity, justice, and generosity across campus. With progress in mind, we aim to learn together, to serve together and grow together.
We have built our platform around three core values: Community, Passion and Progress. Community entails ensuring each Xavier student can find spaces for themselves on campus, building intersectional relationships amongst students and further cultivating the already existing Xavier community. Passion deals with the parts of our identities that we hold closest and translating that into different areas across campus through projects and initiatives; we want to encourage all Xavier students to find what they are passionate about and put that passion to work to create change. Progress, to us, means constantly furthering the institution we love. Progress means we will identify aspects of the Xavier experience that can be reformed, adjusted or eliminated to ensure that all students are met with access to equitable opportunity across campus.
Diversity and Inclusion
- International students
As part of Xavier’s aim to increase the undergraduate population to 5000, we believe increasing the diversity among students should be the university’s main priority. Our goal is to provide equal opportunities to international students in particular by:
- Increasing the recruitment
and retention of international students.
- Increasing financial assistance through need-based and merit-based scholarships
- Extending our support to all international and identity clubs/organizations through partnership programs.
- Creating comfortable and safe spaces for international students to share their culture.
- Providing secure housing for students who get admitted late as a result of the international admission process.
- Connecting students with companies who accept and support international interns and employees by working with Career Development Office and the Center for International Education.
- Commuters Accommodations
In caring for our Xavier Community, it is important to remember the commuters that are often forgotten by the University and other organizations on campus. We would like to make sure that commuters receive that attention that they deserve. In working with C.A.B. and Res-Life we hope to help establish a trial run of a “Commuter One Night Hotel,” where a space would be reserved within one of the Residential Halls for Commuters to temporarily stay in the case of feeling unsafe driving home from either weather, exhaustion or the like.
- Women of color speaking series
Our collective passion for racial and gender equity has inspired us to establish a Women of Color Speaking Series. This will entail 3-5 speakers each semester, all Women of Color, who can share how their passions turned into tangible work. This series will be an opportunity for organizations to partner with SGA, to ensure cross-campus work is being done.
- LGBTQ+ Policy
We will focus on bridging the gaps between the lived experiences of LGBTQ+ students and the policies that actually exist to protect them. We will work directly with LGBTQ+ students to better understand how to fill the gaps. One potential way to bridge these gaps is creating an LGBTQ+ Ally check box on the roommate pairing system to ensure LGBTQ+ students are living in a safe and affirming environment.
- Mosaic Initiative
Mosaic is a new initiative with an old name that we would like to bring back to Xavier University. As the University has planned to increase the non-white, non-international student population to 25%, we believe that the importance of clubs and organizations that represent the diversity of campus has been heightened. This is where the Mosaic Initiative comes into play. With Mosaic, all Identity Clubs on campus will have a space to voice their concerns as well as meet and collaborate with other Identity Clubs on campus. Our goal and overall passion going into this project is that it will act as a round table where clubs will be able to share resources with one another, as well as further the overall understanding of the importance of Identity.
Those present at the meetings would be the Presidents and/or Vice Presidents of the club, as well as one other member of the club, and the SGA Executives. We would also make sure that any important dates, and or information from the Mosaic meetings would be shared with the campus via the SGA Weekly emails.
- Mosaic “Being an Ally” Workshop
From Mosaic we would also like to develop workshops that will work with the clubs within the Mosaic Initiative that aim to engage students interested in understanding and supporting minorities on campus in a constructive way.
Student Wellness and Safety
- Menstrual Care Products Across Campus
With 51% of Xavier population being women-identified students, iit is important to take the menstrual health of students into consideration. Students go through a natural menstrual cycle, and having access to adequate health product is important but not possible while managing other expenses. While menstrual care products are available on-campus at All for One Shop, it is more expensive for students than getting it from grocery stores off-campus. Moreover, students do not have 24-hours access to the products which makes it difficult for the student to meet their emergency needs. As an executive ticket, we plan to make menstrual care products available in as many restrooms as possible across campus.
- Open forum with administration, XUPD, faculty leaders
We have faced with the problem of lack of awareness among the student body regarding the changes made to University policies. It is essential for the students to be well informed about the community they are engaged in. As SGA Executive, we would make sure to create a platform and provide an environment where students can have welcoming conversations with Student Government Association, Xavier Administrators, XUPD and Faculty. This will provide the student body with an opportunity to share their concerns, ideas and experience with the administrators who make major decisions for the students concerning their health, safety and education.
- Continuing “Your School, Your Questions”
Cross Community Communication is one of the hardest obstacles that a growing University, such as Xavier has to deal with. While we acknowledge the overall usefulness of the “Your School, Your Questions” forum, we would also like to put into place a bi-monthly forum with at least the SGA Executives and any administrators that are available. We believe that this is one of the many ways to increase the awareness of what is going on within SGA and in part helps to increase the overall involvement across the community.
- Enhancing XUPD “AlertMe”
We would like to work with XUPD in enhancing the “AlertMe” service. We would strive that the XUPD’s “AlertMe” would deliver timely and relevant information to the Xavier Community. One change would be expanding the area in which XUPD reports to the student body, so that we are not just receiving information that directly impacts the campus, but also information about the surrounding area of Norwood.
- Lyft Partnership
We believe safety is a priority, on and off campus. We also know that saving money is a prime concern for students; therefore, by partnering with Lyft we are hoping students will be willing to take more advantage of the resources outside of Xavier with different discounts and promotions. No student should walk home alone or be afraid to go anywhere. By partnering with Lyft, Xavier students will be provided with different online promotions to incentivise them to use the resource and get home safer for cheaper. While we know that other campuses have partnered with Uber, we believe that Lyft is more in line with the Jesuit values and therefore the better option.
This being said, with Uber’s recent acquisition of Lime, and with Lyft Scooters starting to pop up all over the state of Ohio, with this partnership we would like to be prepared for a full transition out of Uber related business and put our money more towards a company that is more in line with Jesuit values and the Xavier University.
Engagement on Campus
- Reinvigoration of Involvement
One issue we plan to address is the overall decreasing student involvement on campus. We recognize this developing issue and plan to work with student leaders to assist clubs and other organizations increase their digital literacy and virtual presence throughout the year so more students are inclined to participate in the diverse atmosphere of our campus.
- Event Hosting Policy Changes
It is evident that with the decreasing amount of student involvement on campus, recent policy changes should be reviewed. One of such policies is a policy that in turn has decreased the amount of what is called, “Walk-by events.” These events are usually hosted by SAC and are meant to provide students with a break during a stressful day. These events are also useful for advertising for other events across campus. While the OSI’s policy change that limits SAC’s ability to put on these events was meant to push the organization towards increasing turnout at other events, we believe that while in good faith, it has hindered involvement as well as awareness of SAC across the community. We would like to work with the OSI in figuring out alternatives in order to fix this problem.
- “Coffee, Concerns, and Community”
While we understand that the SGA Executives already have office hours, where students can voice their concerns with the Executives, we would like to make the conversation more inviting by hosting once a week “Coffee, Concerns, and Community.” This would be one hour out of the week where the executives would be available in an open space inside the GSC. Our hope is that by making it more social and providing free coffee, more students will feel comfortable to voice their concerns.
- Conversation with ConneX
It has become evident that students throughout the Xavier community are not happy about the current eating arrangements on campus. With a lack of diversity in food options, many students have been taking their business elsewhere. We would like to start a conversation with ConneX in order to ensure that all students’ needs are met whether it be on the topic of Currito’s lease expiring, and making sure that an adequate replacement is put into place, or simply making sure students are satisfied with what they pay for.
While we would like to promise weekly Food Trucks, we know that this can be very expensive, so we would like to introduce “Hoff Food Excursion” Days where the Cafeteria works to cater familiar foods from businesses across the city, both local and franchised. Often times students crave food that they are familiar with, and we would like to accommodate. There have been many cases where students who have been homesick will eat off-campus more often than not just so that they don’t have to eat the food that often to them feels like Cafeteria Food. We stress the importance of non-ConneX eateries because we understand that many incoming students who use the food options on-campus as a selling point desire that familiarity. It is also important to note that Xavier Students shouldn’t feel the need to go all the way to the University of Cincinnati’s campus in order to utilize the many food options that are in the area and some of which the University itself worked to establish on campus.
- Multicultural food options
There is an increasing demand among international students as well as students from diverse backgrounds, to have authentic multicultural foods that would help international students to have a taste of their home and other domestic students to learn about different cultures. There have been attempts by Connex and Hoff Dining Commons to have more diverse foods but they are not perceived well by the students. We aim to ask the managers of Hoff Dining Commons to buy new ingredients for multicultural foods and ask for suggestions from students. We think that students’ suggestions would be able to improve the quality of food provided by the cafe.
- Expanding Wheelchair Accessibility across campus
While Xavier University prides itself as being an “Accessible” University, it is evident that this is not the case. We are currently in the process of teaming up with physical plant and disability services to discover a new way to reach every student’s needs on campus. All students should be able to come to Xavier and not have to worry about accessing academic buildings or resource buildings.
We plan to work with the University to make it completely accessible for all. We also want to work to make sure that all dorms that claim to have proper accommodations are truly accommodated with door clicker access. In addition, with the campus being one with plenty of sidewalks, we want to make sure that all curb ramps on campus are properly marked with blue paint. This also includes working with Physical Plant in order to build a permanent ramp to replace the temporary wooden ramp leading into the DIFT Studio, making Kuhlman’s yard-side entrance accessible, and a ramp for one of the biggest center points and social hubs of campus, the Husman stage.
- Caf Help Availability
Another big thing that we would like to put in place in order to make the campus more accessible is a Caf Helper. Caf Helpers would be a paid employee of the Hoff Dining Hall that would act as an on-call helper to any student who might need help carrying their plates to their table or going through some of the self-service lines. It would be purely voluntary for students to use, or not use. We would also make sure that students would be made aware of the availability of help via posted signs at the entrance of the Dining Hall and on the Wheelchair Accessible Tables, which will also have officially marked tables rather than just paper signs.
- Textbook Choice
As it is evident that the current structure surrounding Xavier’s system of free textbooks for all students before the 21’ Graduation year denies students the right to choose what format they want their textbooks in. In our increasingly digital world, many students would rather have an online digital book rather than having to lug around a heavy backpack. As well as many students also prefer the physical book and the ability to write in the margins, highlight, have interactive studying material. We believe that students should have the choice of the form of the study material they want.
As well as being mindful of the wasting of the resources of the school, it is well known that professors provide additional pdfs and papers to read despite the list provided for required reading, which leads to the printing of pages and disposing them off later on.
Furthermore, according to Xavier’s book scholarship initiatives, while the upcoming classes get free textbooks but many of the textbooks are digital which makes it uncomfortable for many students to have a hard copy of their books especially Science students who really need to focus on their material.
- Ipad checkouts for online textbooks
To prevent wasteful spending and securing the students rights to choose their method of learning, we suggest initiating a system where students can get access to their books without wasting paper. We plan to start Ipad renting out initiative to checkout Ipads from Gallagher Student Center and Conaton Learning Commons front desks on their All Cards. This would help students to work on their online books and save it for later.
- Academic Honesty Commitment
Honesty and integrity are the most important core values for a successful academic and professional life. As Xavier University commits for the students to work with integrity, justice and generosity, it is important to implement these values in students academic life. With increasing technology, there is more emphasis on prevention of violation of standard ethical behavior. For that reason, we aim to reinforce the Xavier commitment on students in their classes through academic honesty policy and their daily lives. We plan to work with faculty of four colleges in implementing better academic honesty policy.
Xavier currently just does enough to show that they are making an effort to recycle, however, it’s our understanding that recycling does not actually take place. If we increase the number of recycling bins around campus and take off the lids that only allow you to recycle bottles and cans, students would be more likely to put their recyclable trash in the recycling bins. Any small effort to make lighter our ecological footprint would better our University. We are working with physical plant to implement more recycling spots on campus.
- Campus Compost
With the sheer amount of food waste coming from the dining facilities on campus, we believe that it would be beneficial for Xavier University to follow in the path of Catholic Social Teaching in acting as stewards of the earth by composting said food scraps. We as a University can do this by utilizing the resources of GoZero, an organization that uses modern techniques in decreasing the amount of waste that goes to landfills across the state. As the company says, “We don’t inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.”
- Partnering with Metro bus
Most of the international students and on-campus residents do not have access to free transportation and they have to rely on Uber or their commuter friends for their shopping, which can be costly and inconvenient. However, we have seen other universities partnering with the public transport companies such as MetroBus, to provide safer and more convenient transportation options. We plan to work with Metrobus to provide discounted fares for students to travel around the city of Cincinnati.
Also there has been a fear and stigma in taking buses among the students, which can be biased and discriminatory. Therefore, we believe that by working with Metrobus, we can work towards getting rid of this thinking among students and help the community to be respectful towards each other by creating awareness.
- Solar on the Green
One of the unofficial restraints of utilizing our beautiful outdoor patios/yard is the lack of access to charging outlets. With the necessity for students to utilize their computers or tablets, we believe that there should be a way for students to be able to charge their equipment without needing to go inside. We would like to setup solar powered charging stations for the Yard. We believe that this would be both helpful for students and sustainable for our planet.
- Lounging on the Green
One of the major themes of Xavier’s Campus that differs from other small universities is that we pride ourselves as being a “Campus on the Green” or a “Campus within a Park.” This is evident across campus whether it be the Xavier Yard (North, South, and Upper) or the green space in-between Kuhlman and the Bellarmine Parish Center. One aspect that is missing, that would strengthen our “Campus on the Green” appeal and provide students with more incentive to be outside and enjoy the space would be that of better seating via Hammocks and more permanent Swings.
One consistent activity that students prefer when outside are utilizing their personal hammocks, but with the limited number of trees as well as the minor environmental impact on the trees caused by Hammocks, we propose a more permanent solution: permanent Hammock Posts. These would be permanent posts that would be set up across campus. The hammocks themselves would be seasonal (just like the plastic yard chairs), but the posts would always be available for students to hook their personal hammocks to during the off season.
Student Government Finance
- We would like to look into the possibility of Executive tickets and potentially all SGA campaigns being funded by the University. We believe that the cost to run a fair and adequate campaign are much too high for the average student to pay out-of-pocket. We believe that this is one of the big limitations that scare potential SGA candidates away. This also gives way to third party groups contacting students who are tight on funds and offering them opportunities to “partner” in order to pay for all campaign materials. While this might sound odd and rare, it most certainly is not. In fact, a group called The Campus Leadership Project, connected to conservative think-tank and nonprofit Turning Point USA, has done just that. They have seen the vulnerability of students and have taken aim at universities such as the University of Maryland, Ohio State University, and Rice University, just to name a few. Being that we too were contacted by a representative associated with Turning Point USA, this is personal for us, and we want to make sure that no non-Xavier affiliated organization has any serious impact on our elections.
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