We CARE about Transparency, Inclusivity, and Community
We're CARE for UChicago. CARE represents the driving tenets of our campaign. We prioritize cultivating Community both within UChicago and with the surrounding neighborhoods. We want to Amplify student voices so Student Government and the Administration can better serve the needs of students. We Represent a diverse student body with different identities that make our campus strong and unique. We strive to Empower by providing students support to bring about institutional change and to change the world after they complete their time at UChicago.
Our platform is focused on transparency, community building, and inclusivity. We're bringing a new face to Student Government by centering care and compassion in everything we do.
Running for Vice President of Administration is Brittney Dorton, a third year in The College majoring in Comparative Human Development. She is the inaugural Chair of Student Government's Accessibility & Disability Advocacy Committee, the president of the Organization of Students with Disabilities, and a Resident Assistant for Graham House. Brittney also started UChicago's annual Access Week, on the Decisions Board for the Emergency Fund, and a current member of the Pozen Center's internship cohort.
Running for Vice President of Student Affairs is Kosi Achife, a third year in The College majoring in Anthropology, Comparative Race & Ethnic Studies, and Gender & Sexuality Studies. She is currently an intern for Vice Provost Melissa Gilliam for the University's Diversity and Inclusion initiatives, sits on the University Community Service Center Advisory Board, and is a tutor for Blackstone Bike Works' youth program. Kosi is the founder of the Multicultural Student Archival Project. Previously, she was a College Council representative and Co-Chair of the Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Committee.
Running for President is Jahne Brown, a third year in The College majoring in History. She is currently the Chair of College Council and has served on Student Government for three years. Jahne is the founder and Co-Chair of the Emergency Fund, an awarded member of Mock Trial, a member of Maroon Key Honor Society, and a peer leader at the Pozen Center for Human Rights. Previously, she was an intern for the University Community Service Center and a Pozen Human Rights Intern.
Making Admin Meetings Transparent
We believe that meetings with University administrators, as well as with Student Government, should be public and easily accessible.The opportunity to make one’s voice heard to admin should not be a privilege reserved for the few.
Before we meet with administrators, we will provide students with an opportunity to send us their questions, concerns, and suggestions so that we can ensure we’re representing what our campus community needs. After each meeting, we will put out a press release so that students can stay up to date on what is being discussed and how issues are being addressed.
We will advocate for administrators to hold more public meetings during which there can be communication between the community and the University admin. We also want such meetings to be accessible and inclusive to all students, including graduate students. This includes holding meetings in buildings that are physically accessible to disabled students, and at times that students with jobs or students who are parents can attend. Last year was President Zimmer’s first public appearance in five years, and the event was only open to undergraduates. We believe that it’s important for all students to have an opportunity to communicate with administrators.
We will push for administrators and Student Government to attend meetings of student groups an RSOs to provide opportunities for communities on campus to express their specific concerns or ask specific questions. We want to ensure that students of all backgrounds, identities, and interests are represented on campus and believe that the best way to do so is to go straight to students and listen to what they have to say.
We recognize that the University of Chicago Police Department (UCPD) has a large impact on the student body as well as the surrounding community. In light of growing tensions between the UCPD and the community, we believe that steps need to be taken to make the practices and policies of the UCPD public and transparent. We believe all students and community members deserve to feel safe on campus, and recognize that the presence of police does not necessarily create safety - and for many folks, can in fact present a threat.
We will push for the public release of the UCPD budget. If the UCPD is meant to serve the community, the community should have access to how much money is allocated to the UCPD how funds are spent especially considering that University tuition helps fund the private police force.
We will advocate for the UCPD to make public what their practices and policies are. How are officers trained to respond to certain situations? What, if any, diversity and cultural competency training do they receive? How are officers trained to respond to mental health crises? These practices deeply impact the campus community and beyond, considering that the UCPD’s jurisdiction extends well past the boundaries of campus.
We will work to make the UCPD subject to FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) so that anyone may request UCPD records.
We will provide students with resource guides regarding the UCPD, such as how to file complaints against the UCPD and a “know your rights” guide for students to help educate them in the event that they have an encounter with the UCPD.
We are committed to working with student and community groups, including #CareNotCops, to understand how we can support the work they have already begun and what issues are the most important at this time.
We will call for the Independent Review Committee that has the power to make disciplinary recommendations in police misconduct to make their disciplinary decisions public.
Student Resources and Rights
We believe that students should have access to information about their rights and easy access to resources to help guide them through novel, unexpected, or emergency situations they mind find themselves in during their time at UChicago.
We will create guides that can be easily found and accessed online to explain what rights students have in various situations and what outcomes to be aware of to help support and guide them through protesting on campus, disciplinary hearings, and reporting a Title IX incident, and other potential scenarios.
We will publish “know your rights” guides to ensure that students are prepared and informed of the rights they have during encounters with agencies such as the Chicago Police Department (CPD), the UCPD, and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
We will collaborate with RSOs, student groups, and University offices to develop Emergency Guides to help students navigate pressing crises such as financial emergencies, mental health emergencies, disability accommodations, and Title IX reporting. We recognize that these situations are scary and place a great burden on students, and we hope that by providing information on what resources are available to them and how to go about finding support, the burden on students can be lessened.
Student Government Transparency
We believe it’s essential for Student Government to hold itself to a high standard of transparency and to practice what we preach.
We will put out end-of-year reports for SG so that the campus community can see how funding was spent, what initiatives were passed, what issues were discussed, and what did and did not work that year. Not only does this make the work of SG available to students, it also allows future Student Government members to build upon what has been accomplished and to improve upon what we weren’t able to complete.
We will reach out to Student Governments at other institutions to better understand what is possible within Student Government and to learn from what they’ve been able to accomplish. We plan to meet with Chicago area Student Governments in order to learn from each other and to work towards accomplishing goals that unite all of our campuses.
We believe in order make UChicago a true community, we need to make sure that students with marginalized identities are properly supported to not just survive, but thrive at the University. Here are some programs we want to start:
Students of Color
For students of color, a Predominantly White Institution (PWI) like UChicago can be particularly hostile environment. We strive to make the University more liveable for students of color by supporting the longstanding campaign for Cultural Centers for Black, Latinx, and Asian/Asian American students. We will also advocate for cultural competency training for faculty members and staff especially those that deal with the mental health and health issues of students and student opportunities. We will create a separate fund for multicultural RSOs to request money from. Database for scholarships and fellowships specifically for students of color.
We will advocate for an an increased number of case managers which are essential for improving the accessibility of mental health services, We will ensure that the University continues to hire more mental health care providers from different genders, races, and sexualities in order to better understand the mental health needs and experiences of marginalized students. We will continue to maintain support for student input in the wellness center. We will create a database of city wide mental health resources and we will advocate for mental health providers on campus from diverse backgrounds. To address both the issue of space and mental health, we will advocate for more reflection spaces on campus for students to decompress from the stresses of university life.
First Generation/Low Income
We are in support of a $15/hr minimum wage for student workers. We advocate for an increase in the Metcalf $4,000 to reflect higher costs of living. We will work with RSOs and the CI+I to offer services to improve food security along with continuing previous student efforts to have a food pantry on campus. We will work with The Emergency Fund to provide more direct aid to students facing crises.
We are committed to ensuring a safe and welcoming environment for survivors. We will work with last year’s slate to continue the Sexual Misconduct Conference. In budgeting, we commit to prioritizing SAAP and RSOs that support survivors. We will collaborate with RSOs like PSA and RSVP often and we will use meetings with administrators to make sure that UChicago is following its current standards.
We are committed to making transportation in the city accessible and affordable. We will continue the airport shuttles program piloted this year and work with houses and student groups to increase UPASS Usage. We will support the continued service of the 171 and 172 buses as advocated by Organization for Students with Disabilities. In this same vein, we will work closely with this organization and others to advocate for more accessible transportation services on campus.
We want to ensure that LGBTQ+ students have more financial support to be successful at UChicago. Inspired by the University of Texas at Austin’s student government association, we want to create a fund for LGBTQ+ students who may face financial strain from family disapproval or need emergency funds for medical costs regarding their gender or sexuality. Additionally, there are many scholarships and postgraduate opportunities for LGBTQ+ students that can be consolidated into an easily accessible database.
Disability and Accessibility
We believe that all students have a right to be accommodated and supported. We are committed to increasing campus accessibility in multiple ways; including pushing for all buildings on campus to be brought up to ADA standards, for disabled students to be on the University committee that determines whether or not buildings are accessible, and for guidelines for faculty and staff to ensure that accommodations students have received are always met by professors. No student should have to choose between their health and their studies. We are also opposed to forced leave-of-absence policies and insist that students who choose to take a leave of absence have access to support and resources during their leave and once they return to campus.
We believe in the power of community. Creating a strong community within UChicago and with our neighbors on the Southside is very important to us. Here are some ways we plan to do this:
Honoring Student Work
We will create stronger communities ties by paying homage to student efforts and student activism. We will strive to make sure the work of students isn’t forgotten when projects are successful. We will name initiatives after the students and community members who were essential to the process, we will find innovative ways to award students for work usually rendered invisible, and we will support the initiative to increase the number of archives contributed by students of color.
Increasing Student Government Programming
We will follow the example of other Student Governments and push for SG to provide both fun and informational programming to enhance campus life. We are committed to continuing the Sexual Misconduct Conference started by this year’s slate and we will work closely with RSOs to start Student Government lecture series and arts/humanities days.
Campus Community Trainings
We hope to create programming that will increase the capacities of individual students to care for each other for a better campus climate. We want to incorporate free and regular campus trainings regarding bystander intervention, first-aid administration such as CPR and blood loss training, how to handle mental health crisis, and wellness promotion. To do so we'd like to look into creating a new committee in SG and collaborating with RSOs such as Peer Health Exchange, and UChicago EMS.
Workers and Unions
We are pro-worker and pro-union. All three of us are ourselves student workers. We fully endorse the Graduate Student Union (GSU) and want to do whatever we can in our power to advocate alongside them and support them. Our top priority is fighting for the administration to stop delaying and to come to the table to bargain with GSU and recognize them as a union and as workers. We also want to work with grad students to understand how we can support them in other areas - from providing free child-care for students who are parents to improving access to transportation to, from, and around campus. We believe undergraduates play an important role in supporting grad students and want to create programming to increase dialogue and interactions between graduate and undergraduates.
We support a living wage for all University workers, including residence hall and dining hall staff who have shown up to work in dangerous conditions in the past year and who provide incredibly valuable service to the community.
We believe that Student Government should exist to serve and empower the student body. As such, we want student input to be the driving force behind change on campus. We want to work with the administration to ensure that before big changes are made on campus - such as decisions about housing requirements - students are consulted for their opinion, and that opinion will be taken into account. We want to develop student focus groups to gather input and feedback on specific issues such as sexual assault prevention and mental health.
We want to collaborate with RSOs and student groups whenever possible. Rather than re-creating initiatives they've started, we want to use our resources to help support them. RSOs have created incredible programs, such as Axis/Active Minds' See Through Stigma Week for mental health and disability awareness; and Phoenix Farm's food sustainability and recovery initiatives.
Engaging the Chicago Community
Our community extends beyond campus walls to include surrounding Chicago neighborhoods. As a slate we want to better connect Hyde Park residents with students for things like tutoring, pet-sitting, and babysitting along with joint festivals and events. We are also in full support for a Community Benefits Agreement regarding the Obama Library.