By Tess Jillson
SGA discussed the bias incident and the expansion of dining options during the open forum at its meeting on Oct. 24 in North Hall Commons.
Ralph Eddy, director of dining services, announced new dining hall renovations and programs the University is implementing within the next year.
Eddy said Sodexo is adding a platform called “You Cook,” which will be a self-service, chef-attended station where students can prepare their own meals. He added the University has collaborated with alumnus Bryan Roof, food writer and senior editor at “America’s Test Kitchen,” to create cooking classes and design cooking demonstrations.
“It’s really designed to be an interactive option for all of you to utilize if you want to learn how to cook, prepare your own meal or even just do a little hybrid of both,” Eddy said.
A sushi station may be installed in the Snack Bar, he added.
“We’ve just entered into an agreement with a design firm that’s going to be working on renovations for the Dining Commons that will most likely take place next summer. Part of that will also include a Dunkin’ Donuts,” he said. The University is in the process of generating a survey for students to suggest a location around campus best suited for a Dunkin’ Donuts.
SGA canceled the finance committee meeting last Monday to allow students to attend the university meeting held in Dwight Hall in response to the hate crimes on campus last week. SGA also cancelled senate last Tuesday to permit senators and club officers to attend the BSU open forum.
SGA reached out to support BSU and met with its eBoard and Millie González, interim chief officer of diversity and inclusion and community engagement, to discuss a plan of action.
SGA Vice President Jack Capello said he spoke with BSU members following their meeting to make sure their goals were attainable.
Senator Kirsten Hoey said she thinks it’s especially important to connect with administrators and “make sure things are actually implemented and not just swept under the rug.”
Senator Ayanna Ferguson said the media is focusing on the incident “but not the things we’re doing to fix it,” giving the University a bad reputation.
Senator Jamal Kirk said, “You can’t fight hate with hate. You can’t put hate on the front page. You’ve got to combat it in other ways. You’ve got to take the opposite of hate and inspire that and grow that. ... That puts hate in a corner. There’s nothing you can expect this school to do to change the careless action of somebody writing the n-word and swastika. You can’t change that. ... What you can do is take the energy and put it into a movement to support empathy and understanding.”
Sarah Horowitz, student activities treasurer, motioned to allocate $15,000 from SGA’s general budget to the diversity account in order to fund diversity initiatives proposed by student clubs. The motion passed unanimously.
Psychology Club requested $11,240 for 2,000 T-shirts promoting its “No Room for Hate” campaign and event, hoping to unite the campus community.
Natasha Williams, Psychology Club member, said, “If somebody is wearing the shirt, it’s somebody you can come and talk to. You might not know them. You might just see them in the hall, but they’re wearing the shirt. They’re promoting Framingham State values. They’re with you. They are your community. They stand with you, and they don’t want anything like this to happen again on campus.”
Capello said it’s a good way “to see that Framingham stands for no hate,” but suggested the club should only order 1,000 shirts due to limited storage and come back if need be.
SGA allocated $5,620 from its diversity account to Psychology club.
Student Trustee Karl Bryan said, “It’s not just about unity. It’s not just about spreading a message on campus. It’s about making people feel safe. There’s a lot of people on this campus that don’t feel safe currently due to the hate crimes, and seeing lots of people wearing this shirt can give them a sense of safety.”