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The University Senate meet Monday afternoon and discussed COVID-19 statistics and a document promoting inclusion.

A virtual University Senate meeting Monday afternoon addressed Protect Purdue Health Center updates and inclusion and diversity initiatives at Purdue.

Esteban Ramirez, chief medical officer of the Protect Purdue Health Center, spoke on campus data for COVID-19. Out of the positive cases, he said 70% are mild or symptom-free, with only 63 beds of the University’s 916 isolation beds occupied.

The senate addressed recent issues with online learning resources and overall internet access in quarantine areas, which chairwoman Deborah Nichols said have since been resolved.

Provost Jay Akridge said room assignments as well as virtual courses could be improved next semester, as Purdue focuses on increasing verbal communication.

Equity and Diversity Committee Chair Audrey Ruple presented a document centered around vocal and visible promotion of black, indigenous and people of color in the Purdue community, as well as condemnation of threats against these communities.

Albert Heber, a member of the Equity and Diversity Committee, voted against the rationale, saying he felt it did not define the problem.

Herber argued that there is no evidence the current University policy is not competent.

“The words 'visible' and 'vocal' are vague,” Herber said.

As the only vote against the document in the committee, he also expressed his concern that individuals who do not fit this demographic may face similar issues as well.

Ruple said the document aimed to address times when the University cannot be silent in the face of non-inclusive behaviors and provide more transparency from the senate in expressing policy.

She cited examples such as instances in which professors of Jewish faith have had swastikas drawn on their office doors and general threats of well-being to people of color in the Purdue community.

Akridge stated the senate is free to pursue the initiative, adding that it aligns with the Board of Trustees’ pledge to stand for black Boilermakers and people of color.

The University Senate will vote for this resolution in a future meeting this fall.

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