After the April meeting minutes were approved, most of this meeting was spent hearing from students who shared their perspectives on the recent racist hate crime perpetrated on campus. They variously discussed their feelings, fears, concerns, and demands. Most were highly critical of AU's response; a few were not.
Senator Shalini Venturelli proposed the following resolution:
Resolution Requesting the Formation of an AU Commission for Anti-Discrimination and a Senate Working Group for the Same
"The University Faculty Senate resolves to request on behalf of students, faculty, and staff of American University to request AU administration and AU Board to approve, fully resource, and implement a Permanent AU Commission for Anti-Discrimination of broad composition with broad authority, whose core mission includes the following: a) Investigate and report on a semester basis all incidents of discriminatory acts on our campus; and b) develop the most advanced model in higher education for anti-discriminatory policies and accountability in the nation. In addition, the Faculty Senate approves the creation of a permanent Senate committee to work as a bridge and in close coordination with the university commission on anti-discrimination in classrooms, workspace, and the wider campus."
A motion was made and seconded, and the resolution passed unanimously with a 21-0-0 vote.
Senators David Banks, Kyle Brannon, Cathy Schaeff, and Shalini Venturelli volunteered to develop the working group.
Provost Scott Bass reported that the recent racist hate crime on campus was under investigation by Public Safety, Metro, and the FBI. AU is continuing efforts to increase representation of minorities in the faculty, staff, and student bodies. A webinar will be held for deposited students and their families around safety on campus. Students have received many prestigious awards this year. A Sony augmented-reality campus tour is under development.
In other business, the Senate voted to approve proposed changes to the following: the term faculty sections of the Faculty Manual, the Honors Program GPA requirement, the Committee on General Education bylaws to form the AU Core Committee, and the Senate membership bylaws. The annual committee reports were accepted without discussion. Proposed changes to the internal procedures of the CFA appeal and grievance policies, and the annual report of the Athletic Director, were postponed until F2017.