This email was sent from the Students' Union to the entire student body.
To the Student Body,
We are facing a school year like no other. All of us will be returning to classes during a time of considerable uncertainty and formidable barriers to success. With adversity in front of us, we continue to persevere through this moment and think about ongoing systemic changes to meet our circumstances. We all tremendously acknowledge the need to develop more resources for students that weren’t there before. Everyone (including your fellow cohorts in Students’ Union) is working diligently to provide students with the best experience during these unique times.
When it comes to students' needs, we understand that even in normal circumstances, most students deal with financial, food, and/or housing insecurities in some capacity. During the time of COVID, those needs have only substantially increased. Students’ Union, the Office of Student Experience, and the Institute are all moving forward with initiatives to help support every student with much-needed resources. So I wanted to address how we as your Students’ Union representatives are taking actions to provide students with safety-net resources as we continue to the fall semester.
- We are continually pushing for new initiatives and resources that make students' lives easier while at CalArts. The S.U. Website will be the official place to receive updated news, information, and essential resources from your Union related to the student body.
- Working in collaboration with Student Experience and the Alumnx office, Students’ Union is restructuring our office hours to meet social distancing and remote restrictions. Peer-to-peer support reduces the stigma often associated with seeking assistance and increases the likelihood that students will ask for the help they need when they need it. We will be launching a student navigator program to connect our fellow peers with student representatives and critically needed assistance resources from both the Institute and those in your state/city. More information will be sent out to students soon.
- Students’ Union and Student Experience are working together to help address food insecurity as we restructure this resource to meet social distancing and remote restrictions. When we are all back to meeting in person, we’re proud to announce that we will be launching an official food pantry location to assist students with food insecurity. Be on the lookout for more information about how we will support students remotely as an email will be sent out to students in the coming weeks.
- The S.U. grants build an environment where we believe every student should have monetary support to help aid the work and art that they want to produce while as a student at CalArts. Grants will start up again in the fall semester, so be on the lookout for more information to be announced soon.
- We understand the need for more work opportunities on campus. So the Students’ Union is hiring students to work with our Health & Wellness or Communication Committee with implementing resources that will support the student body. All work will be done remotely this semester. If you’re interested in working on these jobs or would like to receive more information, please look at the job posting on Compass as there will be a limited number of positions open.
Communication & S.U. Magazine
- Open communication and transparency of information have always been a concern for Students’ Union. Throughout the summer, we’ve been more active than ever to provide much-needed information from the Institute and your Union. Students’ Union will continue reaching out to the student body as we use social media, emails, our website, and the new S.U. magazine (which will be used to recap your union’s progress per semester) to keep the student body updated. Our first S.U. magazine encapsulating the entirety of last year’s accomplishments and development will be released shortly, so be on the lookout.
Student Intersectionality Committee (S.I.C)
- The Students Union Student Intersectionality Committee (SIC), aims to create a safe space working to provide radical inclusion and amplified student input for all at CalArts. We want to provide an ever-changing platform that serves the needs of the students as those needs evolve. SIC will be a place of constructive, actionable conversation, and cross-pollination of ideas, people, pedagogical approaches, and backgrounds. We want to promote a sense of transparency and accountability between the student body’s marginalized communities and the faculty and administration, furthering the idea of shared governance and student input in Institute diversity decision making.
Official Halloween Course
- Our Halloween producers acknowledge the importance of creating more opportunities for students to be artists and make art. With their leadership and the collaboration with the Provost’s Office, Students’ Union is offering a new two-credit interdisciplinary course during both fall and spring semester for students interested in working on Halloween. Students of all métiers are welcome to join the class. The fall course will focus on creating content for the Fall Halloween virtual showcase, allowing students to receive credits for their original work. The spring course will be for students working on the spring portion of this event. The classes will also work alongside the process of choosing producers, producing Halloween, and the responsibilities of the students who want to be producers next year. If you are interested in enrolling in these classes, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, as it will not be listed as a course you may add on the course catalog.
Assisted with the new Title IX and safety courses for students
- Students last year have been vocal about concerns related to our institute-required Title IX and safety course. Working with Dionne (Director, Community Rights and Responsibilities), we reviewed new training programs that could provide this needed information related to sexual harassment and sexual assault while also being conscious about giving students the option to opt-out of case scenarios that may be difficult or triggering to someone who has experienced these behaviors.
To our student representatives’ credit, their ongoing involvement throughout the summer has prepared us for the coming semester. None of this would have been possible without your fellow students’ fantastic work on this union and the institute’s support. With so much still to do, we will continue working to meet the student body’s needs and demands as they arise.
All the Best,
President of Students’ Union