Before a new Diversity Programming Committee, Tendai Munyanyi, chair and senior in management, presented legislation that would move the committee under the name of the Diversity Programming Fund (DPF) to the Office of Diversity.
As prescribed by the bylaws, the committee operates with a $175,000 budget per fiscal year to disseminate to programs they see fit designed to promote cultural competency.
Munyanyi said he aims to restructure the committee to prevent the recurrence of problems regarding the effectiveness of the committee throughout a complete fiscal year. The proposed legislation hinges on the support of the Office of Diversity, which plans to establish two councils comprised of multicultural student leaders as well as hire more administrators to oversee the processes of the DPF.
The changes, consisting of multiple bills, aim to amend the statutes for the DPC, the Privilege Fee Committee and the Student Governing Association bylaws in addition to redefining the role of the appointed speaker pro tempore of SGA senate who, as is written now, is the de facto chair of DPC.
The Office of Diversity has not hired the new faculty or selected students to sit on the council. As of now, the funding for the planned faculty hirings has not been obtained.
A reason for moving the committee to the Office of Diversity is to expand the “efficiency” of the committee and its goals, Munyanyi said.
“Me and also other peers that agree with me, they feel like DPC should be more than an allocating committee,” Munyanyi said.
Darrell Reese, junior in mechanical engineering and president of the Black Student Union, said he would not be in favor of the “humongous move” proposed in the series of bills because it would institute changes that depend on the hypothetical roles of councils and administrators who have not been selected.
“There’s too many holes,” Reese said. “The wise decision would be to not introduce it. This is something you want to do the right way; you have to. There has got to be a way for the entirety of DPC to come together as a governing body to find the best way to restructure and move more efficiently rather than just giving up full control.”
Kaitlyn Cherry, senior in family studies and human services, said she takes issue with the proposed legislation as it stands because Munyanyi crafted it without meeting with the committee. He instead took input from administrators in the Office of Diversity such as Adrian Rodriguez, Cherry said.
“If the DPC is the one that’s going to be jumping from one side of the canyon to the other, why not talk to all the jumpers before you talk to the people who may or may not catch us if we fall,” Cherry said.
Despite pushback from the committee, Munyanyi said he’s leaning toward introducing the legislation to senate due to the limitation on time. There are two weeks remaining in the current senate term.
In the absence of limitations imposed on the chair of the DPC who other committee chairs face, Munyanyi can choose to introduce the bills to senate on March 29 with or without the consent of the committee as a whole. At the time of publishing, the bills in question remained in the agenda for the senate meeting.