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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


ASUA talks racial awareness, increased diversity in Greek Life

Brandi Walker

Issac Ortega, Associated Students of the University of Arizona president, speaks about the ʺIt’s On Usʺ initiative during the ASUA Senate meeting on Wednesday at the Student Union Memorial Center. ʺIt’s On Usʺ is a national initiative that over 200 colleges are involved in to address campus sexual assault

ASUA senators discussed racial sensitivity, updates on the veterinary school and changes to online classes Wednesday at their senate meeting.

Associated Students of the University of Arizona Sen. Brooke Serack said she has been working on her platform to increase diversity with a focus on Greek Life. She said she did research on successful programs that focus on diversity at other universities and found that the University of Pennsylvania has an organization called Campus Organized Lectures on Racial Sensitivity, which was founded by greeks three years ago. Serack said she hopes to adopt a similar policy for Greek Life at the UA.

“[University of Pennsylvania’s Greek Life] actually had a very bad incident where they apparently hired black female strippers for a rush party, which is so unfortunate,” Serack said. “Across this country, race can still be a very serious issue.”

According to Serack, the University of Pennsylvania organization puts on skits concerning institutional racism on campus and also has a variety show where students can initiate and direct the conversation about the lack of diversity that can exist in Greek Life.

“I’m really interested in trying to find maybe some type of organization or something that can be founded to really help increase racial awareness and diversity within Greek Life,” Serack said. “Greek Life has been something so important to me and one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and I want to make sure it’s something that doesn’t have racial barriers.”

Later in the meeting, ASUA Sen. Elena Gold announced that signing up for online classes may look different starting this semester. Students who are completing fully online programs with all online classes will register the same way. Students who take non-online classes at one of the UA’s campuses and online courses will see their online classes listed differently.

“You will be having a $50 fee associated with every online course that you’re going to be taking and they’ll be labeled as add courses instead of online courses,” Gold said.

ASUA President Issac Ortega announced that the UA passed its veterinary medicine degree program through the Arizona Board of Regents. In most veterinary programs, students must earn a bachelor’s degree before applying to medical school, which can be very expensive and stressful for students.

“This program allows you to take your veterinarian degree within four years to reduce the costs,” Ortega said. “There will be a program fee attached to it, which obviously adds a little more stress, but it’s a lot less than going to med school for being a vet.”

Ortega said he was proud of all of the support the program received. He added that he thinks the benefits will extend beyond the students.

“Apparently, a lot of ranchers across the state of Arizona are in desperate need of large-animal veterinarians,” Ortega said.


Follow Brandi Walker on Twitter.

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