Here's what's coming up on the ASUO agenda

The ASUO has a full schedule as it looks toward the next three months. Here’s an overview of what your student government will be up to:

The ASUO Executive branch will be launching into its campaign for cultural competency. Cultural competency refers to awareness and effective interaction between people with varying cultural, socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds.

“The goal is to create the safest place possible in a classroom or in a workplace, so that people can do their jobs correctly and learn as much as possible,” said Chief of Staff Lamar Wise.

The campaign to encourage cultural competency will take shape in several ways. ASUO Multicultural Advocate Perla Alvarez is leading the efforts to connect with and improve cultural competency within the faculty.

“It’s very important that our faculty and staff know how to deal with students of color, do not make assumptions. A lot of the ways in which our faculty are not properly making decisions in connection to students of color or with disabilities is because they need to be trained that they treat students as individuals and not as a whole,” Alvarez said.

Alvarez is working with the Division for Equity and Inclusion towards institutionalizing a training for faculty in cultural competency, and also toward an increased awareness of cultural competency in other areas of the college experience, such as the residence halls.

The ASUO also hopes to introduce a workshop similar to those performed by the Sexual Wellness Advocacy Team at IntroDucktion to help socialize incoming students to the concept of cultural competency on campus.

However, cultural competency is only one of several issues the ASUO will be involved in tackling at the Oregon Student Association rally in February. The rally takes place in Salem every two years and is an opportunity for students from higher education institutions all over the state to discuss the agreed-upon objectives and lobby in their favor in the Oregon legislature. This year’s issues include tuition affordability, sexual assault prevention and cultural competency.

Last time the rally happened, there were nearly 500 total students in attendance. The ASUO is hoping to send around 75 people this year to Salem, and one of Exec’s priorities is to recruit students from all parts of the university to attend. State Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Ramos and Alvarez are both involved in recruiting efforts. Ramos has been sending emails and will be reaching out by phone to students who expressed interest in rallying and lobbying when they registered to vote through the ASUO.

“We definitely want a diverse group of students to go,” said Ramos.

According to Alvarez, one of the other goals of recruiting is story collections. The ASUO is looking for stories from different students about why cultural competency is important to them, an instance where they felt a teacher may have not been trained enough in cultural competency.

Senate, meanwhile, is approaching budget season, where it will review and approve the amount of money allocated to ASUO-funded groups. In addition, regular Wednesday night meetings and all committees and working groups will continue as usual.

For more information on the ASUO, visit their website.

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Kaylee Tornay

Kaylee Tornay

Kaylee is the Emerald's 2015-2016 Hiring and Training Director. Formerly an ASUO reporter for the News Desk and writer for the Arts and Culture Desk, Kaylee has also interned for the Medford Mail Tribune and freelanced for the Bend Bulletin.
Ask her to discuss local journalism or for tips on throwing shade at people who take up too much room on the sidewalk.