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SGA checks LGBTQ and shuttle off executive platform

By Jake Heath
On September 7, 2011

Gallagher Student Center remained busy this summer as Student Government Association made several

strides with its proposed executive platform, namely in the design of a more cohesive shuttle route and the establishment of a permanent resource advisor for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) community. The executive board, which includes Executive President senior Ryan Alleman, Legislative Vice President senior Ricardo Martinez  and Administrative Vice President senior Lydia Gerlach, presented a platform during their campaign last spring encompassing five major  categories of projects to be completed by the end of their term. These included improving student safety, celebrating diversity, improving student access to Xavier's resources, enhancing SGA accountability and availability and expanding club resources. One of the most covered projects of the summer involved an entire evaluation and remodeling of the LGBTQ permanent position

plan proposed by the executive board of 2010-11. "I talked with the previous executives and redesigned the  position. It's substantially different," Gerlach said. "They had created a position that was something similar

to emotional support. That position is different for where Xavier is right now." Gerlach examined other Jesuit

universities similar in size and location to Xavier for how LGBTQ departments were conducted around other parts of the U.S. This led to creating an entirely new position for the LGBTQ community different from the original design from last year. The new LGBTQ resource advisor will be placed in charge of regularizing Safe Zone Training, a

type of exercise held at a national standard that offers an educational environment for the LGBTQ community, while also providing a place for people to come out and witness people coming out. It usually includes a half day to a

day-long training. "Because Safe Zone Training is held at a national level, it doesn't mean that that level is right for 

Xavier or what would be coming to Xavier," Gerlach said. Part of the role of the LGBTQ resource advisor is to assess the progress and acceptance around Xavier toward the LGBTQ community. After the resource advisor 

makes this assessment, the correct options for Safe Zone Training can better be discussed by the resource advisor. The LGBTQ resource advisor position will be offered to all students, including graduate students. Other achievements made by the executive staff involved expanding campus safety. This was done by attempting to better the shuttle route so that it circled within the campus' center, Bellermine Chapel, every 15 minutes and

reached out to ill-lit pockets of campus as well as common resident streets. The shuttle was also rescheduled, 

becoming a primary means time because of its lack of interest during the regular school hours, and becoming a safety beacon and observer for Xavier Police. "We designed it with two things in mind. The first trying to promote more student ridership. The second to promote student safety too, " Alleman said. "The shuttle bus has a walkie-talkie wiring right into Xavier Police. If there's a problem in, say, R2, they can call it in for Xavier Police to respond." The new routing system has also been redesigned so that stops are usually around well lit areas or near emergency phones on campus. Although much work has been completed, there are still several aspects of the executive platform that have made little progress during the summer, making it difficult to see these projects finished before the executives' terms ends. Many ideas, such as expanding campus lighting and replacing the emergency phones, remain stagnant due to delegations during the budgeting phase.  Other projects require extensive communication and planning to be completed. "I'm always going to say that we got less done. There's always more that we could be doing," Alleman said. "But I'm not uncomfortable with the amount of work that we got done this summer."

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