ISA chair position moves from AS to International Student Services
Correction: The headline originally said the ICS chair position was moving from AS, but it is the ISA chair position that is moving. The Chimes regrets this error.
International Student Association and AS multicultural events like Sola Soul will now be handled by new departments, with the exception of Poetry Lounge. Both the International Student Association chair position and multicultural relations chair will permanently move from Associated Students to different departments next year in an effort to better represent minority and international students.
Ivan Chung, International Student Services director, and Glen Kinoshita, Multi-Ethnic Programs & Development director, proposed last fall to permanently move the International Student Association chair position to International Student Services and the multicultural relations chair to Multi-Ethnic Programs & Development.
“[The move] is not a loss, because I feel like AS is empowering the department to do more,” said junior Giovani Prayitno, International Student Association chair.
Two separate positions cause confusion
Prayitno said it was difficult reporting to two separate bosses and that moving International Student Association chair out of AS makes sense because it will enable International Student Services to do more with the students.
Junior Nancy Davong, current multicultural relations chair, also said it was hard to double up with both AS and Multi-Ethnic Programs & Development.
“We’ve been looking at this restructure for a couple of years now from different departments and just trying to see how we can have better partnerships and better direction,” Davong said.
The two chair positions have historically been funded by AS but shared with the other two departments, according to AS president junior Janine Marderian. International Student Services and Multi-Ethnic Programs & Development also had a hand in supervising and hiring those positions.
“This has put considerable pressure on these two positions, and caused confusion and frustration on both ends,” Marderian said in an email on May 1. “The structural inefficiency motivated this transition.”
Changes to funding procedures
The payroll for the chair positions, International Student Association assistant and programming funds currently come out of AS contingency, according to senior Sam Singery, vice president of finances.
Starting next year, the funds will automatically be moved to the International Student Services and Multi-Ethnic Programs & Development departments. In addition, events currently put on by International Student Association and multicultural relations will be under International Student Services and Multi-Ethnic Programs & Development — except for Poetry Lounge.
“AS believes that since Poetry Lounge originated in AS, it should stay in AS under sole direction from students, and it’s kind of become a tradition,” Davong said.
New AS multicultural position made
In addition to retaining Poetry Lounge, the payroll for the multi-cultural relations assistant position will also remain in AS in order to create a brand new position.
“We’re going to try to retain some sort of diversity position to focus on student initiative type things and discussions and creating awareness that way,” Singery said.
While there is no official title for the position yet, Laura Igram-Edwards, director of student programming and AS adviser, said that she and the AS executive board have been working on the job description and estimate hiring will likely begin in the fall.
At this point, they are unsure of the specific duties the position will carry, but they know they want the job to act as a liaison between the various diversity programs and events and AS. Additionally, the new position will not be planning any events to give the two departments space to develop over the next year.
“[The move] is requiring us to better focus on [diversity] issues and come up with ways to help continue to empower students and really to partner more with ISS and MEPD,” Igram-Edwards said. “By this issue coming to light, it’s really made us start to look at it more closely, and that’s a good thing.”
Davong is optimistic about next year’s changes.
“With the transition of multicultural relations over to Multi-Ethnic Programs & Development and also this creation of a new diversity position in AS that students applying for these positions can focus on which department they would like to gain more experience in,” Davong said. “It gives students more opportunities to serve in different directed ways.”