by Victoria Martin, News Editor
Keeping with the embracing diversity stance they have adopted this spring semester, SGA approved $6,730 on April 13 for a group of EC students to attend the White Privilege conference in Kansas City, Missouri.
“The conference is not a white supremacy rally and it is also not so that we can dehumanize these people,” explained EC senior Noah Pearson. “Its purpose is to inform not only on the racial issues that we see today, but also the issues surrounding gender, class and disability.”
After hearing more about the conference being held on April 27 and a breakdown of the cost, SGA representatives were curious as to why no other students were allowed to go and what made this group so qualified to attend without applying ahead of time.
“How do you expect to bring what you learn back to campus,” asked SGA representative Lisa Dubin.
To which Pearson responded: “As this group we are in the process of getting various programs on campus [and] this would be a way to teach ourselves how to organize and teach lessons like [the ones from the conference] on the campus.”
EC Director of Intercultural Affairs Roger Moreano added, “If we do not educate our students on these issues, we have failed them. This is why something like this is so important.”
While most representatives were on board with the idea of sending the students to the conference and fully funding the trip, SGA representative Daniella Barca, one of the representatives in charge of the Roost renovation, wanted to only fund 75 percent of the asked amount due to the trip not being open to other students and she did not want SGA to just give money away.
“I am not a math major, mind you, but I just divided the amount among the six people going and it is just north of $1,000 per person and personally I would feel more comfortable paying around $500 per person,” Barca said.
“I understand that it’s a lot of money but we have the ability to send people out,” Jonathan Prehn said in reference to the $9,000 in the SGA contingency budget and $40,000 in the special projects budget.
After a vote SGA chose to award Pearson with the original asked amount with the condition that next year the group expand to more than five students and give a presentation showing what was learned.