Student government happenings: Senate discusses, aims to improve international-student experience

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The Student Senate met Sunday night at a very full table in the Union Buidling's Daseke Boardroom to draft a white paper easing hardships for international students.

The proposal, as it stands now, seeks to notify students that summer storage is available upon request and on a first-come-first-serve basis and that there are some job options on campus for international students, though more are being requested. The white paper also asks the university to find more comfortable options for international students who stay on campus over Winter Term.

A panel comprising seven members and advisers of the International Student Association, along with Dean of Campus Life Dorian Shager, joined the senators to discuss a white paper. DePauw Student Government's Executive Vice President, senior David Dietz, led the discussion to figure out what issues concern international students, as the senate sought to determine the contents of the white paper.

Loutfi Jirari, director of international student services, praised the white paper, but saw it as a small step in dealing with the issues facing international students.

"It's a challenge … whatever we can do, it's not going to be enough," she said.

Senator Francis Fordjour, a sophomore international student, felt very enthusiastic about the proposed white paper, as it would benefit him in accessing summer storage, and he felt it represented the concerns of international students well.

"I'm looking forward to us passing them, not just writing them and people voting for them, but like when we pass the white papers and we see … the change as it has been written," Fordjour said.

Senior Minnu Paul represented ISA as a panel member at the meeting and expressed her opinions, as well as those of other international students, concerning issues in the white paper. Specifically, she discussed the segregation that international students experience, sometimes by their own doing, and how it affects their progress on campus.

"If international students were more integrated into the student population, we wouldn't need ISA board," Paul said.

Jirari also acknowledged the segregation among students, saying it greatly hindered their growth and progress.

"The problem is that we have cultural clustering on campus," Jirari said.

The full student assembly will meet Sunday night to debate and vote on the white paper, as well as others.