The Student Assembly (SA) welcomed its new freshman representatives and discussed procuring closed captions for football games, making the financial aid office less intimidating, and upcoming plans for the GLBTQ+ Leadership Council (GLC) in its meeting on Tuesday.
Jonah Kotzen, UGBC Intersectionality Committee chairperson and MCAS ’24, said that he and Taylor Morales, director of Diversity and Inclusion and MCAS ’23, met with Boston College Athletics last week to talk about getting closed captions on football videos played before games at Alumni.
“If I have difficulty hearing those videos, I can’t imagine how hard it is for people with hearing impairments,” Kotzen said. “BC Athletics was all in to help make closed captioning happen, but they are not sure how to do so. We’ve been put in contact with the IT department so I think that’s something we’ll be able to do in the future.”
Kotzen also discussed how UGBC should brainstorm ways to help clubs secure more funds given that the Student Organization Funding Committee is out of money for the fall semester.
“This is probably going to be a big issue for a lot of clubs,” Kotzen said “So we should consider how UGBC can collaborate with certain clubs and how we can help out.”
According to Josh Golden, Community Relations chair and MCAS ’25, he and UGBC President Lubens Benjamin met with Ebony Marsala, head of financial aid at BC, to discuss ways to make the financial aid department less intimidating for students.
“They want to start a program to make financial aid seem less scary,” Benjamin, CSOM ’23, said. “Students would get personalized email before that spring bill is due. That way students can connect with their financial aid officers beforehand about any troubles they may have or even just questions about submitting financial aid.”
Later in the meeting, Kotzen explained that given recent bias-motivated incidents on Herrd targeting students with disabilities, the SA plans to start a working group focused on researching bias-motivated incidents and setting new protocols to respond to them.
Wells Arkins, GLC chair and MCAS ’23, then discussed GLC’s “big ticket item” goals and the interim policy goals for the year.
“Our biggest ticket item goal is institutional,” Arkins said. “It’s something that has been a work in progress for awhile and something we might not even see come to fruition in our time at BC, that is getting an LGBTQ+ resource with an affinity space.”
In addition to a potential affinity space, Arkins said other goals include creating a queer Living and Learning Community for LGBTQ+ students and allies, establishing protocols for trans-inclusive housing on campus, and changing BC’s institutional language to be more inclusive.
“The language the University uses is very binary,” Arkins said. “For example, our school motto is ‘men and women for others.’ We can change that to be more inclusive by using ‘people for others’ or ‘eagles for others.’”