Purdue Graduate Student Government’s meeting on Wednesday addressed a range of topics including updates on the emergency needs grant and legislation asking Purdue to create a support space against racism and xenophobia.
Support Space Against Racism and Xenophobia
Senators passed a resolution asking Purdue to create a support space to combat racism and xenophobia with 24 votes in favor and 2 abstentions.
This space would resemble the Center for Advocacy, Response, and Education in Duhme Hall, offering resources to aid graduate students while maintaining a database of incidents and coordinating with other organizations on campus to "offer workshops and trainings on racial justice, equity, diversity and inclusion," according to the resolution.
“I think this is something that is absolutely needed at Purdue,” Nuñez said.
The resolution, using data from the 2021 Graduate Student Experience in the Research University survey and the PGSG Black Graduate Student Experience and Life Survey 2021, states that, “23% of Purdue graduate students recently reported experiencing ‘offensive behavior based on my race/ethnicity’ and 18% graduate students reported experiencing ‘offensive behavior based on my national origin.’”
Vasundhara Kaul, one of the resolution’s authors and a graduate student in the sociology department, encouraged those present to support her legislation.
“This is what we envision as a first step towards getting this space established,” she said.
PGSG Priorities 2021-2022
PGSG President Madelina Nuñez introduced three areas for senators to focus on: mental health, campus climate and housing and compensation.
These focus areas included specific legislative topics, such as improving counseling and psychological services, tracking cases of reported bias, xenophobia and discrimination on campus and increasing teaching assistant, research assistant and graduate assistant compensation.
Nuñez encouraged senators to be active in writing legislation in these areas in order to best serve graduate students.
Amendments to Financial Code of Operations
Parliamentarian Mathew Dittmann updated the Financial Code of Operations, a legal agreement that determines how PGSG budgets and spends money.
Dittmann added wording for the Emergency Needs Grant. Modeled after a fund maintained by the LGBTQ Center, the ENG allocates funds to graduate students suffering from financial strain. The initial contribution will come from PGSG and will be replenished by PGSG funds that are not sourced from student activity fees.