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USG passes major resolutions as semester winds down

USG’s General Assembly passed a resolution suggesting all resident advisors be Safe Zone-trained and added an emissary seat for international students at their penultimate meeting of the semester Wednesday. Credit: Lantern File Photo

Undergraduate Student Government’s General Assembly passed a resolution suggesting all resident advisors be Safe Zone-trained and added an emissary seat for international students at their penultimate meeting of the semester Wednesday.

Safe Zone Training

Safe Zone training is a national project available to the university through the Multicultural Center. According to the Multicultural Center’s website, the project “aims to create a more welcoming and more inclusive campus environment, to strengthen community and to encourage networking among faculty, staff and students toward the goal of supporting the diverse individuals and communities with minorized sexual and/or gender identities.”

The resolution, passed Wednesday, called for all RAs to go through the training prior to interacting with the students on their floors.

“We found a gap in safety for students because not every LGBT student has a resident advisor who knows about LGBT issues or is comfortable advocating for that student who needs help,” Ose Arheghan, co-sponsor of the resolution and LGBT+ emissary seat holder, said. “We have these wonderful RA’s who haven’t been given the tools to really serve all the students in their constituency. This resolution fills that gap.”

Arheghan said while RAs are required to go through Open Doors training, an anti-bias program, there is no LGBTQ specific training. They said Safe Zone training will focus on the much-needed education of what it means to identify as LGBTQ and how they, as RAs, can be an advocate for those students in their constituencies.

The resolution also stated that after completing the training, RAs will be provided an Ohio State Safe Zone decal to display. The decal is not a symbol of an LGBTQ community identifier, but rather those that support the needs of others and are willing to learn about issues related to sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.

USG senators discussed how they felt encouraged by statistics provided in the resolution about the implementation of Safe Zone training at other college campuses. One of these being California State University Northridge, who reported that 91 percent of Safe Zone participants believe it reduces anti-LGBTQ bias.

International Student Emissary Seat

A motion to add an emissary seat dedicated to international students was passed with unanimous consent. The introduction of this emissary seat, like the LGBT+ emissary seat, will not provide the international student holding the seat with voting rights in USG’s General Assembly, but will allow for their issues to be heard more.

“By having an additional emissary seat, whether its voting or not, is getting that voice into the chamber when it comes to debating resolutions and also prompting them as well,” said USG senator and RA Cade Santha, who proposed the international student emissary seat. “I think it is really necessary to bring as many voices of the populations that aren’t in this chamber so we can better serve all students on campus and a huge portion of that population that we are missing are international students.”

The application for the international student emissary seat will launch before winter break and will appointed in the spring semester.


One comment

  1. Adding this seat is important because being an international student away from home is difficult, compounded by our complex culture and language problems. Welcoming and assimilation assistance must come from numerous sources, including the White House, to aid these young people embarking on life’s journey. Most struggle in their efforts and need guidance from schools’ international departments, immigration protection, host families, concerned neighbors and fellow students, and even informative books to extend a cultural helping hand.
    Something that might help anyone coming to the US is the award-winning worldwide book/ebook “What Foreigners Need To Know About America From A To Z: How to Understand Crazy American Culture, People, Government, Business, Language and More.” Used in foreign Fulbright student programs and endorsed worldwide by ambassadors, educators, and editors, it identifies how “foreigners” have become successful in the US, including students.
    It explains how to cope with a confusing new culture and friendship process, and daunting classroom differences. It explains how US businesses operate and how to get a job (which differs from most countries), a must for those who want to work with/for an American firm here or overseas.
    It also identifies the most common English grammar and speech problems foreigners have and tips for easily overcoming them, the number one stumbling block they say they have to succeeding here.
    Good luck to all wherever you study or wherever you come from, because that is the TRUE spirit of the American PEOPLE, not a few in government who shout the loudest! Supporters of int’l students must shout louder.

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