Undergraduate Student Government President Cole Lee signed an executive order establishing a director of diversity affairs and an Undergraduate Student Government Committee on Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity.
“I wish that I could do more. And though I may not be able to do much, I can do this,” Lee said in Facebook post announcing the executive order. “I can make a tiny difference in my community and in the lives of those around me. I can, hopefully, inspire, motivate, and empower those around me to continue to bring hope and change into our world — because you all are more important than ever.”
Lee’s Facebook post announcing the executive order received over 190 likes.
Prior to the executive order, USG had no formal position or committee with the purpose of diversity advocacy. The director of diversity affairs will be in charge of diversity programs at Stony Brook, aid with policy development, serve as a resource to students, and serve as USG liaison to the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity, among other responsibilities.
The decision to create a formal position was spurred by the recent spike in hate crimes and discrimination in the United States.
“I swear to preserve, protect, and defend the constitution of the United States so that we can love whoever we want to,” Lee said. “So that each and every one of us no matter who we are or where we come from, can dream about becoming whatever we want to.”
The director of diversity affairs will also issue monthly reports to USG, updating students on any progress made by the Committee on Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity.
The search for an individual to fill the position will begin the week of Jan. 30.
“I may not be the President of the United States, nor will I ever be,” Lee said. “However, I am the president of the greatest student body in the world and I represent a place that has a proud legacy as the progressive capital in higher education.”