Welcome to Our Platform
We've broken our platform down into three main pillars: Diversity and Equity, Unity Across Campus, and Our Responsibility. These are the pillars that make us the DUO that works for CMU. The specific issues we hope to tackle are described in greater detail within each overarching pillar.
Diversity and Equity
- LGBTQ+ Efforts: While we acknowledge and appreciate recent efforts to make CMU a more inclusive environment for the LGBTQ+ community, there is still so much more that needs to be done. Our main focus would be in increasing the number of gender neutral bathrooms on campus such that we establish at least one in every building on campus (though this is a very bare minimum and we aim to have more).
- Acclimation Experience of International Students: We want to celebrate all that is already done to welcome international students into the CMU community, however, we also realize the shortcomings of the current international student experience. We want to place a great emphasis on hiring bilingual speakers to the Orientation staff to help students adjust to the campus community in whatever language they feel most comfortable in, in addition to holding an International Student Activities Fair for clubs with high international student involvement (such as the ISU and CSA).
- Department Funding for Professional Cultural Events: Despite how much we discuss the importance of diversity and equity, we must be able to invest the resources to open up new student opportunities. Departments have been unwilling to financially support sending students to many off-campus events due to their semblance of having a higher cultural rather than professional focus. We want to push for the use of department funds to finance student registration and travel to events like the NBSU conference. We need to vocalize the fact that these types of events are spaces for students to further their passions, grow character, and meet other similarly passionate students outside of Carnegie Mellon’s campus. Departmental funding will allow organizations that allocate portions of their budget for these opportunities to better give back to members while opening attendance of these events to the greater campus community.
- Racial Diversity Initiatives: In addressing issues of racial equity, we want to follow through on much needed forums and town halls in order to address issues relating to improving the minority student experience at Carnegie Mellon. Additionally, we want to actively work with the OIE to address issues facing the diverse graduate student body and include the new GSA Vice President of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in our cabinet in the hope of unifying and streamlining diversity efforts across the Carnegie Mellon community.
Unity Across Campus
- Good Neighbor Policy Adaptation: We would like to adapt Baylor University's Good Neighbor Policy (https://www.baylor.edu/student_government/index.php?id=951569) and establish a like policy here at CMU to encourage community-focused daily engagement on our campus.
- Sustainability on Campus: There are several sustainability efforts we would like to see on campus, but our main focus would be on creating a Bee Garden in the Peace Garden adjacent to Hunt Library. The area is secluded and has low traffic, making it the perfect location to host this ecosystem booster to remedy the extremely minimal bee population on campus. This effort already has support from groups around campus including the Grounds Crew, Sustainable Earth, and even Phipps Botanical Garden.
- OOMF Charging Stations: Inspired by the Chapman University campus, we would like to install OOMF Charging Stations around campus where students can electronically sign-out portable chargers to use outdoors (the Cut, the track, etc) or in buildings with minimal outlet access.
- Club Mailer: CMU is one of the most involved campuses in the country, and one afternoon of clubs tabling on the cut isn't nearly enough opportunity for students to learn about the work all of our campus organizations are doing. Advertising events can be hard with bulletin boards constantly overwhelmed. To alleviate this issue, we would like to introduce a weekly mailer to go out to students' emails where clubs can advertise their events and meetings for the week.
- Carnival Activities Advocacy: We will push for policies that provide greater academic assistance from professors in the lead-up to Carnival and advocate on behalf of organizations in need of additional financial assistance for Carnival activities.
- Expanding Pittsburgh Connections: Pittsburgh connections is a hallmark of the Orientation Week experience, but gets little advertising during the semester. Our goal is to expand Pittsburgh connections and help more of our campus get involved in these amazing trips.
- Livestream Cabinet Meetings: We hope to set up a live stream for all Cabinet meetings in an effort to make Student Government activities more transparent to the student body. We all also encourage Senate and GSA to follow in suit.
- Student Perspective Series: Adapted from a program at the University of Chicago (http://sg.uchicago.edu/sps-summaries) we would like to initiate a Student Perspectives Series at CMU in which students could give a talk or presentation on their perspectives on various aspects of life at CMU to the university's Board of Trustees.
- Equitable TA Wages: We support the current initiatives for teaching assistants to receive wages on par with those of our peer universities. We will do what is in our power to push for equitable wages for TAs and build upon current work being done in student government to raise student worker pay.
- Alternative Financial Support for Students: Attending CMU poses a significant financial burden for many of our students. We propose two initiatives to work toward alleviating this burden. First, we would like to expand the CMU Pantry so that it can extend its important work to more students. Second, we want to introduce a winter clothing drive in which students can donate cold-weather items such as jackets, fleeces, hats, etc. Students who may be under-prepared for the notorious Pittsburgh winter can receive these donated items, free of charge. Emergency loans already available to students are a great first step, and we would like to build on that.
- Free and Available Menstrual Products on Campus: While there are free menstrual products available in some buildings on campus, this is not the case in every building nor are these stations always maintained.