In an annual report to the University of Minnesota Board of Regents, the Board’s student representatives focused on three topics: combating discrimination and institutional racism; public health at the University, and; student advocacy.
In their call for greater awareness and continued efforts to combat discrimination and racism, student representatives highlighted the importance of institutional accountability, increasing representational and student diversity and the ongoing movement towards a more equitable and welcoming University for all.
Regarding public health, student representatives examined and recommended updates to health insurance benefits for student employees, particularly to strengthen services and provide more choice to patients. More broadly, the report recommended the University increase funding that supports research into the health implications of structural racism, and anti-racist interventions to combat disparate outcomes. To complement that work and help bring findings into practice on the University’s five campuses, the students recommended that the University establish an anti-racism commission.
Lastly, student representatives celebrated the many formal avenues available for student advocacy at the University, including the platform provided by their annual report to the Board.
Student Representative Chair Jael Kerandi and Vice Chair Abdulla Ali presented the report with the Board on behalf of the eight Student Representatives to the Board of Regents, who represent undergraduate, graduate and professional students across the University’s five campuses.
The Board also:
- Facilitated a public forum on the use of body-worn cameras by University police departments, a necessary step required by law toward developing policy to govern the use of this equipment.
- Discussed campus-level strategic planning for the Rochester campus, the first in a series of campus-specific conversations to discuss how local planning will advance MPact 2025, the University’s systemwide strategic plan.
- Discussed the current status and next steps in the public response to COVID-19 with Dr. Michael Osterholm, Regents Professor, McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair in Public Health and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP).
- Reviewed proposed amendments to the Board of Regents Policy: American Indian Advisory Boards in a discussion including Dr. Michael Goh, the University’s vice president for equity and diversity, and Tadd Johnson, senior director of American Indian Tribal Nations relations.
The Board of Regents is scheduled to meet next on May 13-14, 2021. Visit regents.umn.edu for more information.
- Campus Affairs