When Student Government Association president James Wells found out about a racist note posted to Twitter on Sept. 2, it cut deep.
As a black man himself, it hurt him to see something so hurtful happen that close to campus.
"It kind of pierces at you," Wells said. "It pains you to see something like that."
The note containing some racial slurs prompted Wells to sign the first executive order of the year to create the Diversity and Multicultural Commission.
The commission, headed by SGA's secretary of diversity Gabby Lloyd, will discuss and collaborate on different ideas and help give a voice to smaller groups. It will hold monthly meetings and open forums to bring students together and see how they can bring change to campus. Students from the Big Four organizations, political groups, international groups and other organizations will be invited to join.
“I think it was more of a goal to bring a voice to marginalized groups on campus that don’t get that much attention,” Wells said. “We hear their issues, we hear their concerns, but we don’t really take it under consideration. We really don’t go out and listen to what it is that is bothering them or what it is that they want to see changed around campus.”
SGA also wants to hold the university accountable for the goals they made in the Beneficence Dialogues.
"I think they've been doing as much as they can with what they have," Wells said. "But we need to ensure Ball State is a diverse, inclusive and welcoming environment and we continue to show and reflect that in the student body, faculty and administration."
This announcement was made Sept. 7, a day after SGA hosted an open forum on the topic in conjunction with the NAACP, Today’s Black Women, Women of Color, Men of Color, the Black Student Association, Impact and the Progressive Student Alliance.
During SGA's first senate session of the year on Sept. 7, senators also approved the year's budget and the next elections board chair, Carrie Ann Staggs. Staggs is a senior legal studies and political science major and former chair of the safety committee. She was previously the sheriff of the elections board.
In the spring, the Elections Board is in charge of making sure SGA slates follow the elections code. Staggs said she plans to implement changes to the code this year.