Division of Diversity and Inclusion

Dr. Taj Smith, director of Diversity Education, gave a presentation on the purpose of his role at the university. His focus is on teaching others how to build inclusive habits both inside and outside the classroom setting.

To do this, he works with the 365 program and New Student Orientation and holds diversity workshops for departments, offices and student groups. He also trains faculty and staff on how to be more open-minded while teaching.

Smith is new to the university and has been here for less than three months. Before diving into his role within the Division of Diversity and Inclusion, Smith brought some of his ideas to senate. He asked for feedback on what the senators believe would be most effective or what may need adjustment. He aims to push initiatives that will not only improve racial diversity but also be inclusive of the Deaf community, religious minorities and the LGBT community, among other student groups.


Fourth year Environmental Science major and Student Government (SG) President Bobby Moakley presented changes to the SG bylaws. A section was added detailing the management of Pawprint petitions, ensuring that Pawprints is recognized as an official part of the SG process.

Minor changes were made to the elections process, officially prohibiting behavior that has already otherwise been unacceptable for student candidates. For example, it is now officially against election rules to use the SG logo within a campaign or in any way associate it with yourself as a candidate. Harassment of and defamatory remarks against other SG candidates are also now strictly prohibited.

These bylaw changes will be voted on by the senate on Friday, April 5, 2019.


A response was given to a petition asking that RITz offer a medium-sized container for their pasta bake. The response stated that the vendors who supply the containers simply do not offer the option.

A petition asking that all of RIT’s rooftops be painted white was charged to FPAT and Sustainability Committee.

FPAT has added a shuttle stop to the weekend retail bus route at Global Village in response to a petition.

Students expressed anger through one petition stating that losing the fourth floor of Wallace Library to faculty offices is unacceptable. The petition has been charged to SOIS and FPAT; they will be looking into what plans are being made for the library and try to ensure that spaces will be given to students.

In response to a recently released video, a petition has arisen asking student organizations not to film on campus. The petition was charged to the Greek Senator.

Another petition has asked that biodegradable to-go containers be made available at all dining locations on campus. A response has been given by Sustainability Committee stating that this is already underway, alongside other initiatives such as increasing Ozzi boxes.

Finally, one more petition with a positive response. The petition asked that graduates be given the option to return their graduation attire. This will be an option as Sustainability Committee partners with the annual Goodbye, Goodbuy event. This initiative will be available to the 2019 graduating class.


The first SG art show will be held at the Rochester Brainery on April 5, 2019, where over 100 pieces of art will be displayed. A bus will be provided to the event as well as the RIT City Art Space. The event will include a DJ and is open to the public.

SG Election Results

Fourth year Organizational Strategy and Healthcare Administration major Anika Aftab and her running mate, third year Environmental Science major Liam Megraw, won the position of SG President and Vice President.

The results of the SG election are now available online.