By Caitlyn-Jean Ward ’18, SGA President
College campuses across the nation provide students with opportunities to grow and become the individuals they wish to be. They are often safe-havens and become so close-knit that they become second homes for students. Hood College is no different. It strives to give its students every opportunity to grow and enhance the world around them; boasting a myriad of diverse clubs and organizations. Hood truly is home. However, like other institutions, Hood also experiences issues that can have a negative effect. Last fall, the Hood College Student Government Association was alerted that some members of the student body felt underrepresented and unwelcomed, that their ideas, ways of thinking and overall states of being were being challenged or infringed upon by peers.
As the voice of the students, HCSGA felt this could not be tolerated; the executive board drafted a resolution on inclusivity on campus, encompassing the true values about what it means to be a part of the Hood community. Each member spoke of the changing ideals and circumstances that define the world we live in, and how the community must reflect those changes in a positive way. We should challenge each other to be more accepting and more kind in our daily actions. Each line of the resolution includes the basic principles that Hood was founded on—hope, opportunity, obligation and democracy—ideals that each Hood student embraces. This resolution serves as a goal that we can all strive for. Whether you live on campus or off, are a resident assistant or a member of the faculty or staff, a trustee or an alumnus, as a member of the Hood community, you should embody these values.
While creating the resolution, HCSGA thought about the things that make Hood College unique. Diverse groups of people are able to come together to discuss differing views; Hood fosters communication and collaboration. Diversity groups on campus have the opportunity to meet with community members to educate and promote their part in the campus conversation. Students are given the freedom of expression in a safe and welcoming campus environment. Our proximity to Downtown Frederick allows Hood to foster relationships with local businesses and organizations. Frederick is such a welcoming place and Hood is ingrained into the local community so much that it the town becomes a part of every student.
In writing this resolution, the executive board felt as if we were advocating for students’ rights. Normally, the members of HCSGA are responsible for being the body that helps to accept new clubs and run class elections. Never before has being the “voice of the students” felt so real and personal for all of us. For many of us, this opportunity allowed us the chance to think beyond the weekly tasks, to figure out how we could positively impact our “world”—the Hood campus. A core principle of academics is the willingness to challenge beliefs in a sphere of discourse—we must commit ourselves to ensuring all students can participate in that sphere equally. In order to grow we have to support a conversation that allows all people to express opinions, both in and out of the classroom.
In the last 125 years, Hood College has evolved from the small Frederick’s Women’s Seminary—from the introduction of men into an all-women’s campus to the creation of “Blaze” and 22 NCAA sports teams, from the first African American student graduating in 1968 to a 33 percent diversity rate in our student body. In order for Hood College to continue to move forward, we must continue to foster a community in which all people—no matter their gender, sexual orientation, political preference or differing mindset—are welcome to share their ideas and feel that they are at home. We wrote this resolution to reinforce a resounding sense of community on our campus, a standard that our college commits itself to. We hope that this resolution helps all students feel more at home at Hood. If you ever feel your voice is not being heard, the HCSGA is here for you. We are dedicated to advocating for your voice.
Members of HCSGA Executive Board:
President: Caitlyn-Jean Ward ’18
Vice President: Brielle Rozmus ’19
Academic Affairs Chair: Christian Hoch ’20
Campus Facilities & Services Chair: Mat Molina ’18
House Forum Chair: Colin Williams ’19
Finance Chair: RJ Tucker ’18
Traditions Chair: Katie Malagari ’18
Diversity Chair: Glorie Cassutto ’19
Public Relations Chair: Samantha Bailey ’18
Commuter Council Chair: Marissa Gouker ’18
Speaker of the Senate: Samuel Kebede ’18
HCSGA Advisor: Dean Olivia White
A RESOLUTION CONCERNING
Hood College Community Standards
WHEREAS: All members of the Hood College community including students, faculty, staff, and visitors deserve to be treated with respect, dignity, and kindness; and,
WHEREAS: The founding principles of Hope, Opportunity, Obligation, and Democracy outline the expectations for the Hood College community; and,
WHEREAS: The Student Government Association defines Hope as the vision for an open and accepting community with all members working towards that vision; and,
WHEREAS: The Student Government Association defines Opportunity as the chance for all to live, think, and identify as they so choose with the respect of their peers, professors, and all other community members; and,
WHEREAS: The Student Government Association defines Obligation as the duty of all community members to treat and be treated with dignity and academic professionalism throughout all aspects of campus life; and,
WHEREAS: The Student Government Association defines Democracy as the ability for all members of the Hood Community to be represented fairly and without reprisals for their beliefs and identities; and,
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED: That the Executive Body of the Hood College Student Government Association encourages the Hood College community to reflect upon the values listed above by engaging in open, respectful discourse, positive student action, and an understanding for your fellow community members in any and all campus settings.
HCSGA Diversity Chair
The Hood College Executive Board 2017-2018