Campus News Society & Culture

New Student Advisory Board to focus on diversity, equity

The goal is to increase transparency of institutional policy decisions

At the recommendation of the Presidential Task Force on Race, Ethnicity, and Community, the University of Georgia has launched a new student advisory board to share information, build community through conversation, and receive student response regarding the university’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives.

The university formed the DEI Student Advisory Board in order to increase transparency of institutional policy discussions with students. The board will consist of representatives from DEI-focused groups and organizations across the university.

Vice President for Student Affairs Victor K. Wilson, who chaired the task force, said that he hopes the board assists him and his fellow administrators with learning more about students’ campus and community experiences while providing regular updates from Student Affairs and other campus units.

“I’ve always been interested in the student voice, and these are the initiatives where we should continue to hear the student perspective,” Wilson said. “I’m thrilled to have this forum for regular, open dialogue on our DEI efforts.”

Michele Howard, associate vice president for student affairs, will convene and administer the group.

“I look forward to meeting with the students on a regular basis to get their responses to the university’s DEI initiatives while continuing to work in solidarity to make UGA more inclusive for all students,” Howard said.

Specifically, the DEI Student Advisory board will provide insight based on experiences of students at UGA through honest dialogue and civil conversations. The student board members will also serve as a sounding board for new DEI-related initiatives, ideas and solutions, and provide feedback on the collective student perspective of campus opportunities and challenges. Overall, board members will work in partnership with university leaders to make UGA a more inclusive campus for all students.

Student Affairs will annually receive nominations for 12 board seats with three at-large members selected by Wilson. Student board members will serve for one academic year. The inaugural group will commence in spring 2021 and serve through May 2022.

“I am thankful to my fellow task force members, and particularly the support of President Morehead, in forming this group, and to Dr. Howard for her leadership,” said Wilson. “It has always been exciting to have students play a critical role in meaningful campus discussions, and I look forward to their continued participation in these important conversations.”