By Emily Shane
Two ad hoc committees, one on the costs of living for students and the other on community representation, were commissioned by DCGA President Meghan Pearce ‘16 on March 10.
Pearce explained that she created the committees because the topics were not appropriate for the four current DCGA committees: rules, finance, policy and public relations. “We’ve had a lot of enriching conversations about both topics, but have not really had a concentrated group to explore some of these topics being raised,” she said.
Currently, the community senators represent the Asian American Association, Asian Culture Club, International Students Association, Black Student Union, Hillel, La Fuerza Latina, Muslim Student Association and Outlook. These are groups that have been historically underrepresented in DCGA.
However, other campus communities, such as athletics groups and other religious organizations, have approached DCGA about their representation.
The Committee on Community Representation “is in charge of researching why community senators came to be,” said Senator Giancarlo Vita ‘17, the chair. “We want to know why certain communities wanted to have specific representation within our student body. Not all community senators work identically, so it would be interesting to understand their roles within their specific communities.”
The Committee on Student Costs of Living will bring together previous DCGA discussions about the strategic plan, tuition, and the cost of laundry, parking tickets, meal plans and food in Slayter. “All of these things are going to affect students on a daily basis, and we want to be sure that the aggregate cost of being at Denison is considered when making these isolated changes,” said Pearce.
Senator Steven Hix ‘16, the chair of the committee, said they “will be seeking to insert the student voice in the budget, tuition, and scholarship decision-making processes to unprecedented extents. Though obviously the Board of Trustees and members of the administration are aware of student concerns regarding the rising cost of a Denison education, students haven’t previously had to opportunity to truly have our specific concerns and suggestions heard through an official avenue.”
The committees will present their reports to DCGA on April 14.