Motions and Recommendations passed by the

Social Justice & Equity Committee 2017-18

(from Minutes) 

Trula Nicholas, Chair







 2017-18 SJEC Chair

Committee members discussed election of SJEC’s 2017-18 Chair. A motion to recommend appointing SJEC’s Chair for a 2-year term (forwarded by Rae Lynn Schwartz-DuPre and Seconded) was tabled. Trula Nicholas agreed to serve as interim Chair until SJEC elects a 2017-18 Chair.


Committee Structure 

A motion to adopt a three steward model where stewards report to the SJEC Chair (forwarded by Nabil Kamel and seconded) passed unanimously. Specific roles and responsibilities of the three stewards are to be determined at SJEC’s meeting of December 7, 2017


Election of 2017-18 SJEC Chair 

A motion to nominate Trula Nicholas (forwarded by Aric Mayer and seconded) as 2017-18 SJEC Chair passed. Nicholas was elected unanimously.


Divserity & Social Justice Award Committee Membership

A motion (forwarded by Nabil Kamel and seconded) to approve the membership of the 2017-18 Diversity & Social Justice Award Committee passed.

To Diversity & Social Justice Award Committee:
           At-Large: Todd Haskell, Psychology
           At-Large: Monique Kerman, Art & Art History
           At-Large: Tanveer Chawla, Engineering & Design  
           At-Large: Rae Lynn Schwartz-DuPre, Comm Studies
           At-Large: Andrew Brown, Fairhaven
           At-Large: Lucas Senger, MBA/Art & Art History


Election of Stewards

A motion (forwarded by Kevin Covey and seconded) to ratify the election of the three SJEC steward positions passed. The following elections were ratified:.

SJEC Financial Steward:
           Kevin Covey, Physics & Astronomy

SJEC Communication Steward:
           Tim Costello, Center for Service Learning

SJEC Operations Steward:
           Todd Haskell, Psychology


SJEC Budget

Kevin Covey, SJEC Financial Steward, and Lizzy Ramhorst, Shared Governance Operations Manager, presented on SJEC’s budget. Ramhorst reported that the 2017-18 academic year is the first year that SJEC has its own budget code. Covey stated that he will meet with budget staff in the Provost’s Office to gain clarity on SJEC’s total budget and to determine where the SJEC funds will be held and how funds will be maintained going forward. SJEC members agreed to consider whether the Financial Steward should also have budget authority when they discuss the SJEC stewards’ roles and responsibilities. Ramhorst advised SJEC members to include all funding decisions in meeting minutes as a record of action.

A motion (forwarded by Rae Lynn Schwartz-DuPre and seconded) to approve $2,500 to hire Dr. Leticia Nieto to conduct facilitator training for the Campus-Wide Dialogue events passed.


Steward Roles and Responsibilities & SJEC Charge

A motion (forwarded by Aric Mayer and seconded) to postpone discussion of the steward roles and responsibilities until March 8, 2018 passed.


Funding Allocation

A motion (forwarded by Nabil Kamel and seconded) to ratify an electronic vote to approve a $500 funding allocation for the “Uncolonized” film screening passed with one abstention.


SJEC Steward Roles and Responsibilities

Steward Roles & Responsibilities: SJEC discussed a revised document outlining the three steward roles and responsibilities. Committee members discussed the function of the roles and about the necessity of revisiting the roles in future. Committee members agreed to discuss steward term lengths and eligibility at a future meeting.

A motion (forwarded by Nabil Kamel and seconded) to adopt the Steward Role Descriptions document with the understanding that it is a living document that will be revised as needed passed unanimously (see Appendix B).


SJEC Steward Eligibility, Nominating Process, and Term Lengths

Steward Eligibility, Nominating Process, and Term Lengths: The SJEC Executive Council (SJEC Chair and stewards) forwarded a motion to accept the Eligibility, Nominating Process, and Term Lengths for Stewards document.

Upon discussion of the document, a motion (forwarded by Aric Mayer and seconded) to amend the document to remove the phrase stipulating how voting will take place passed.

Committee members voted to accept the amended document with unanimous approval.

The language of the approved document is as follows:

Eligibility: To serve as a steward on the SJEC a committee member must have served as an official member of the main committee or a sub-committee (Awards, CWD or FLL) for a minimum of one year. Member cannot be a standing chair or co-chair of a sub-committee.

Procedure: Self or other nomination to the SJEC committee chair via email. To facilitate an electronic nomination, consideration and election process; nominations should include a brief qualification of the candidate relating to the functional roles of each position. Election will take place by majority vote via email or in person.



Funding Allocation

Electronic Vote on Funding Allocation: A motion (forwarded by Kevin Covey and seconded) to ratify an electronic vote to approve a $500 funding allocation to support Demian Din√©Yazhi’s visit to Western’s Bellingham campus for the Decolonizing Western course passed with one abstention.



Policy on Providing Funding for Events

Draft Policy on Providing Funding for Events: Todd Haskell, Operations Steward, presented a draft policy on SJEC allocating funds for events. Committee members discussed the document.

A motion (forward by Andrew Brown and seconded) to adopt the Policy on Providing Funding for Events passed by unanimous vote. The language of the approved policy is as follows:

Social Justice and Equity Committee

Policy on Providing Funding for Events


Requests are regularly made to the SJEC to provide funding to support events that are put on by other groups on campus. The purpose of this policy is to create transparency around decisions about funding requests, to provide a means of prioritizing requests when the number of requests exceeds available resources, and to ensure that funding decisions are made in a manner that is consistent with the SJEC charge.

The initial part of the SJEC charge, which was used as a guide in developing this policy, reads as follows:

The Social Justice & Equity Committee’s (SJEC) role is to engage faculty at Western Washington University in ongoing examination and reflection needed to make essential changes in the academic policies, practices, and behaviors that result in inequity, exclusion, and social injustices at WWU.

Specifically, the committee shall:

  • Assist the Faculty Senate by evaluating and advising on implications for campus diversity, equity, and social justice of actions proposed by the Senate and its standing committees.
  • Engage faculty
    • Create and implement opportunities in which faculty from across WWU’s campus engage in meaningful interactions that allow for the active reflection and examination of academic policies, practices, and behaviors that result in inequity, exclusion, and social injustices at WWU.
    • Create and implement opportunities for WWU faculty to engage in the work of promoting equity, inclusion and social justice at WWU and the surrounding communities.


  1. Funded Events Must Promote Social Justice: Practices focusing on the advancement of social justice do “not merely examine difference or diversity but [pay] careful attention to the systems of power and privilege that give rise to social inequality and [encourage] the critical examination of oppression on institutional, cultural, and individual levels in search of opportunities for social action in service of social change” (Hackman, 2005, p. 104) Events simply discussing different identities or cultures without considering power and privilege are not good candidates for funding.
  2. Funded Events Must Have a Goal of Change at WWU and/or Surrounding Communities: Events focused on creating change in a location far from WWU would not be a good candidate for funding.
  3. Broad Involvement: Priority will be given to projects that demonstrate an intention to include as many facets of campus life as possible, including but not limited to: students, faculty, staff, administration, and local community.
  4. No endorsement of specific political candidates, political initiatives, or businesses: As an example, if a local Green Party politician attends and delivers a campaign speech, state law prohibits SJEC from providing funding for that event. However, if this same politician attended an event where they talked about their experience trying to implement government policies that promote social justice, SJEC could provide funding for that event. Similarly, if a business leader spoke at an event and specifically encouraged attendees to patronize their company because it promotes fair trade, that event would not be a good candidate for funding. However, if that same business leader spoke about factors that encourage some businesses to adopt fair trade practices, SJEC could provide funding for that event.
  5. Affirmation of dignity and human worth: SJEC does not support events that seek to achieve their objectives by demeaning, disparaging, dehumanizing, or “othering” particular groups of people. Events that characterize a conflict in terms of “good people” and “bad people” are not a good candidate for funding. However, SJEC could fund events that characterize particular policies, systems, or practices as “bad,” so long as a distinction is made between the system and the people who are operating within that system.
  6. Typically, requests are up to $500.
  7. SJEC will endeavor to allocate available funding evenly across the academic quarters.