Correction: A previous version of this article stated that the Vice President of Inclusive Excellence is allotted 20 hours a week. The current version has been updated to reflect the position’s 15-hour allotment.
The Inclusive Excellence Student Council (IESC) has all new members this year. With Lydia Hernandez as the Vice President of Inclusive Excellence (VPIE), the IESC has all new council members who are working on individual and internal projects.
Started in 2016, this is the IESC’s third year being an entity of the Associated Students of Boise State University (ASBSU). The new council members are Alyssa Wainaina, Joel Weisel, Hailey Opperman, and Hanna Suman.
Funding and Spending
The finalized line item budget for the IESC this school year is $7,000, and the funds are used for events, merchandise and conferences the IESC will attend.
“Right now, we are working on getting merchandise for IESC so that we’re able to promote ourselves and events,” Hernandez said.
Through ASBSU’s Funding Board, IESC is also allowed to ask for funds from the sponsored projects line item, which they can utilize if needed.
The IESC code states that IESC members receive $8 an hour and can work a maximum of 10 hours. The VPIE receives 15 hours at $10 an hour because she must attend multiple meetings a week and has more mandatory tasks than the council members.
Reegan Jacobson, ASBSU Ethics Officer, helped write IESC’s code when he came into the position in spring 2018.
“As of right now, nothing has changed in the IESC code from last year and I’m not sure if much will change,” Jacobson wrote in an email. “Having the IESC be such a new board, it’s hard to gauge if there are any major changes that need to be made this early on.”
Hernandez’s main goals are to radicalize space and protect students and make sure there is a felt community. Hernandez wants to ensure that students are always in the conversation regarding decisions that will affect them.
“I’m looking into other university models as examples on how they operate inclusiveness,” Hernandez said. “And another thing is finding out how they were able to establish a tribal liaison, land acknowledgement, and just looking at their examples of how they did that and how they included that within their university.”
Wainaina is working on meeting with the deans of every school on campus, according to Hernandez. Last week, they met with the College of Arts and Sciences (COAS) to build recognizability with deans and make it known that IESC is a resource.
“My goals for IESC this year are to build community between students and make change within the institution itself,” Wainaina wrote in an email.
Weisel is putting together a presentation for a theatre class of 90 students to bring awareness to inclusivity and diversity in the plays they are performing. According to Hernandez, they want to understand what makes up play language, costume design, make-up design, and who receives different parts in the play.
“I want to see this campus have a plan for the future to become more inclusive,” Weisel said. “We have an inclusivity statement which is a great start and the next step is for the university to have a plan to live up to that statement.”
Suman is working with three different English 101 classes to conduct a Service Learning Project to bring awareness to students about IESC and to show that they are a resource on campus.
The Diversity and Inclusion Summit is on Oct. 8 and Suman will be introducing President Marlene Tromp along with facilitating a seven minute conversation and workshop with the attendees.
Opperman has reached out to the President’s Office to schedule a meeting time in late October with President Tromp. IESC is hoping the President’s Office can hire an advisor in an administrative position who can take on some of their workload.
“They’ll serve as an advisor, besides Francisco, but also like someone that is able to oversee all the other areas in the university and will be able to hold people accountable,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez is also working with housing to create trainings on topics related to diversity and inclusion such as gender, race, sexuality, disability, privilege, systemic oppression, and equity. The making of a zero-tolerance policy for hate at Boise State is also a goal of IESC, and Opperman is seeking to be the driving force behind the initiative.
“I want to help create a campus where every student knows their identity and experiences matter,” Opperman wrote. “There is a lot of work that has to be done before we get there, and serving on the IESC provides a unique opportunity to address many of these issues.”