By Annalese Cahill, Guest Writer
Xavier’s Strategic Plan is our seven-year road map that is lacking comprehensive student input.
Many of you have heard the phrase “strategic plan” thrown around the last few months since the arrival of several new university administrators. But what exactly is a strategic plan, and how does it fit into your role as a student?
The plan highlights Xavier’s pillars of strength. It will eventually include several initiatives, or goals, that the university will strive to achieve during the course of the plan. This document will be referenced in Xavier’s work across the board, so it is crucial that it is comprehensive and true to our accomplishments and struggles.
The Student Government Association (SGA) has had two opportunities to offer input on the strategic plan. Our feedback has focused primarily on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, so we are pushing for more anti-racist language to be included in the themes of the plan. The pillars of the university that stand out in the recent draft of the plan include data collection, community engagement, health programs, basketball and our Jesuit values. These are strengths of Xavier, but it is important to establish where we have room to grow. As students and future graduates, we want to come from a university that is willing to work for change, welcome diverse people and perspectives and advocate for those on the margins.
At the recent Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Town Hall hosted by SGA, the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion and the Office of the President, students voiced these concerns for Xavier loud and clear. Students of color voiced that they do not feel included in the Xavier community in the same way as their White counterparts, and that is not something that SGA takes lightly as a group representing all students on campus. The strategic plan has the opportunity to be a “living, breathing document,” as members of the steering committee have called it. However, to be that, it must be something that students, especially our underrepresented students, are excited to read. The only way we will get there is by working together.
Currently, there isn’t a clear avenue for widespread student input outside of SGA. However, if you feel strongly about what the plan should include, speak up. To find out how you can share your vision for Xavier, please reach out to SGA President Annalese Cahill at firstname.lastname@example.org.