After several months of unrest, students and staff against the OMA and ISC merger won a small victory. Michele Murray sent out an email early this week announcing the delay of the merger, stating that it would be paused until further student input was received in the fall.
As a student that utilizes OMA’s services on occasion, I am pleased by the delay of the merger. Although the Division of Student Development was hopeful for positive change, homogenizing two spaces on campus is not the solution. These offices are a haven to the students who use them; they hold the power of safe space and create a community within the larger SU atmosphere. I do not see a credible benefit of merging the two offices—rather than adding services, it feels as though Seattle University would be simplifying services and taking the power of the spaces away.
Through participating in critical discussions about race and gender issues on this campus, I have come to realize that recent student discussions are not solely about the merger. The climate of our campus is problematic. I have heard several alarming stories regarding racial and gender biases in the classrooms and student organizations. We cannot continue to move forward as is. Seattle University is focused on diversity and social justice—what does it look like for us to radicalize our spaces to better reflect these values?
Yes, delaying the merger is a small step in the right direction. But the administration, staff, students and the campus in general have a long way to go in creating a positive and welcoming environment for all marginalized voices on this campus.
—Courtney Decker, Staff Designer
Alexa McConville is a Senior studying Strategic Communications. She loves dancing, theater and America!