Press "Enter" to skip to content

Student Government Association hosts first Senate meeting of spring semester 

MOORHEAD – The Student Government Association (SGA) started spring semester strong, holding their first Senate meeting after returning from winter break. 

Following introductions, much of the meeting was devoted to updates from the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Concordia’s search for a new Director for Inclusion. 

Michael Chan, Concordia’s Executive Director for Faith and Learning, spoke to SGA virtually and informed students about what plans Concordia has for filling the position, as well as what goals they had for the role.  

Concordia’s previous chief diversity officer, Edward Antonio, left in the fall of 2022. In Sept. 2023, President Irvine created a SCRUM to determine what the next phase of DEI leadership would be at Concordia. 

Chan explained that it was important that Concordia’s diversity work not belong to a single person. 

We want to have somebody in a position who is authorized and supported to carry through those priorities but also need to recognize this does not land on any one person’s shoulders. This is our effort together and within that effort we want to create a robust diversity, equity, and inclusion ecosystem in which the priorities can be moved forward,” Chan said. 

Speaking about the search process for the position, Chan said it was an open search which was co-chaired by Chan and Lisa Sethre-Hofstad, Vice President for Student Development and Campus life and a professor of psychology, alongside a committee that is currently being created. This search committee will be comprised of students, staff and faculty at Concordia.  

The role of the Director for Inclusion was also outlined during the meeting. 

Chan said the Director for Inclusion “will focus on three core areas of responsibility. Provide proactive leadership and vision for inclusion throughout the college. Develop and lead comprehensive and ongoing training in professional development for faculty and staff. And cultivate external support for college initiatives and strategic priorities.” 

The Director for Inclusion will also sit on a new body called the President’s Leadership Council, which is charged with implementing priorities outlined in Concordia’s 2030 Strategic Plan. 

Chan also spoke about how the Director for Inclusion would oversee the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Opportunity Office (DEIO), which would be integrated into a newly established office for mission and inclusion. This office would include Campus Ministry, DEIO, the Center for Interfaith Engagement, the Dovre Center for Faith and Learning and Lorentzen Center for Faith and Work. 

Chan said the purpose of this new office is “an attempt to tie our interfaith work, Lutheran identity, and inclusion work altogether.” 

Following Chan’s video, Sethre-Hofstad was present at the Senate meeting to answer questions SGA members had about the new role.  

Many members raised questions about how they could be more involved in the process themselves, interact with the candidates or express their own desires for action they hoped to see taken by the Director for Inclusion. 

Sethre-Hofstad said applicants who are brought to campus are typically interested in meeting the students and that is when students will have the opportunity to interact with candidates and provide their feedback on who they think would be a good fit for the role.  

“We want someone who deeply cares about college students and the higher-ed experience,” Sethre-Hofstad said. 

Following the DEI update, SGA reflected on MLK Day and the events and speakers on campus.  

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Mission News Theme by Compete Themes.