UISG passes resolution in support of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action Plan

In a joint session, UISG and GPSG voted unanimously to pass the DEI Action Plan resolution, which addresses inequity and a lack of diversity among faculty, staff, and students.


Emily Wangen

UISG President Noel Mills addresses a joint session of UISG and GPSG on Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019. The two student governance bodies met to vote on three joint resolutions, which passed unanimously.

Thomas Duong, News Reporter

At their joint session Tuesday night, University of Iowa Student Government and Graduate Professional Student Government passed a resolution in support of the University of Iowa’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action Plan. 

Ever since the sudden resignation of Associate Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion TaJuan Wilson, the progress of the UI’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action Plan introduced in April became unclear.

However, UISG passed the 2019-2021 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action Plan in a unanimous vote after months of deliberation.

The action plan itself is a response to a 2018 climate survey of campus and addresses the inequity of underrepresented groups; the advancement of a diverse community of faculty, staff, and students; and the establishment of a more inclusive institution at the UI.

“When we look at the first-time, first-year incoming students, there are over 40 percent more minority students we’re welcoming in the first-time, first-year class,” UI Executive Vice President and Provost Montserrat Fuentes said. 

Fuentes spoke in place of UI President Bruce Harreld, who could not attend the meeting because of recent allegations surrounding the Hawkeye Marching Band.

RELATED: After diversity VP’s resignation, UI updates community on action plan

Despite a recent increase in representation on campus, a large part of the undergraduate student body believes the university places too high an emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion, Senator-at-Large Joseph Haggerty said.

The action plan not only aims to increase diversity at the UI, but also to sustain it. One of the resolution’s authors, UISG Senator-at-Large Ruth Kahssai, reiterated what she believes makes the plan relevant to campus.

“This is not just our responsibility, but everyone’s responsibilities in the state of Iowa to promote, encourage, and implement DEI for students, staff, faculty, or anyone that walks on your campus for students’ success, social success, and better built communities,” Kahssai said.