senate 11/9

Senator Joseph Etheridge stands to give constructive criticism over the diversity and inclusion survey in hopes that the survey will provide optimal results when given to the incoming freshman. 

After two weeks of back and forth about the Intercultural Development Survey for the Diversity and Inclusion Office, the Student Senate took the survey during the Nov. 9 meeting. 

Student Senate members were vocal about the issues they had with the survey after taking it. One of the most common issues with the survey was that it had too many hypothetical questions rather than focusing on real experiences that people have. 

This survey was originally struck down in a 14-12-1 vote during the Oct. 26 meeting. A major reason for the vote was the price tag attached to the survey. Student Senate thought they would be financially responsible for the test run, utilizing the Senate's Inclusion Committee budget.

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion always intended on paying for the survey. The DI Office is working on building a curriculum for diversity education for Northwest students as part of its Inclusive Excellence plan. The data collected on the survey will be used for the DI Office initiative. 

Organizational Finance Chair Brady Fritts said his biggest issue with the survey was how it did not focus on specific experiences.

“The survey is focused on hypothetical rather than experiences. The survey is very tunnel-visioned,” Fritts said.

Senate President Bailey Hendrickson was also one of the more outspoken members against the survey. Hendrickson’s issue was also with the questions. 

“At this moment, a lot of things need to change about this survey before we can even think about sending this out to the student population,'' Hendrickson said.

While there was conversation about the need to change the questions on the survey, the DI Office has no power over what questions are asked on the survey. The DI Office will be able to see the results of the survey, but the survey is owned by a third party. Hammer Holdings, Inc owns the survey and according to their website they claim their surveys have three areas of improvement.  

“One individual feedback and development of intercultural competence, two for group/team feedback and training development of intercultural competence, and three for baseline assessments and organizational development,”  the website reads.

Senior Diversity Coordinator Jessie Peter says the survey is different to from other personal characteristic surveys. 

"In contrast to many personal characteristic instruments, the IDI is a cross-culturally valid, reliable, and generalizable measure of intercultural competence along the validated intercultural development continuum," Peter said.

The survey took 18 out of the 36 senate members only 10 minutes to finish, and all other members finished under 20 minutes. The DI Office will be back at the Nov. 30 meeting to discuss the results of the survey and how they want to move forward.  

Other Student Senate Business:

Organizational Finance Chair Brady Fritts reports that Student Senate has appropriated $11,375 of the $32,000 budget. This is 36% of its budget.

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