This week, the Associated Students of the University of Nevada Senate held a special meeting, inviting the university community to voice their concerns about events that have impacted students and faculty this semester — including the events in Charlottesville in August, swastika graffiti in the Church Fine Arts stairwell, the traffic stop involving University of Nevada, Reno police services and a graduate student, another officer dressed as a negative rendition of Colin Kaepernick and more.
Students call for university to make diversity priority on campus
Although the meeting was open to the public, less than 10 people spoke — a low number compared to the amount of people that showed up to the special ASUN meeting held in the wake of Charlottesville.
While the community was invited to talk about other events and issues, speakers largely focused on issues of diversity. There was agreement among speakers that something needed to be done at the university, but specifics differed.
John Marrow, a UNR student studying social work, called for the people on campus with moderate political views to bring the political extremes together. He encouraged people to have conversations with others who have different views in order to “build bridges” on campus.
Other people, however, wanted more action from the university administration rather than from individuals.
Lewis McGreel from the College of Liberal Arts said the concerns of the students were not being met by the university, and that the “I am the real Nevada” T-shirt campaign and emailed statements were “useless” in response to the events that had happened. He said the university had a systematic problem and that people felt like nothing was being done. He did offer a solution to the problem, but said it was not just a “one-step policy solution”.
A graduate student named Aubrey said she felt like the issues could be solved if the administration took time to know their student body, had smaller conversations and listened to “what matters to students”.
Kevin McReynolds — the graduate student at the focus of the UNRPD police stop in late September — spoke about implementing a system to report acts of hate, racism and violence. He compared the design of this system to the one set up for sexual assault on college campuses. McReynolds said that the country was paying attention to UNR now, but not for the right reasons, and more needs to be done moving forward.
The Senate listened to these concerns and will pass future legislation on it. After the special Public Comment, a regular Senate meeting resumed.