Diplomatic Congress diplomatic.congress@fandm.edu

Thu, Jul 2, 4:58 AM

Dear F&M Students,

As part of our commitment to disseminate frequent updates to the student body on Diplomatic Congress’ Summer 2020 initiatives, we are pleased to inform you of our progress in the following areas: 

Diplomatic Discourse 

As mentioned in our Juneteenth email, we are creating a series called “Diplomatic Discourse,” in which we aim to engage all members of the community across various sectors of campus to dissect relevant topics and seek input from a selected group of panelists. We are excited to announce that we’ve developed a framework for our first talk, titled “Confronting a Racist Campus.” While being mindful of over-scheduling, we are in the process of deciding on a date and time over the next few weeks to hold this event.  

COVID-19 Student Agreement

As a community of students, faculty, and staff, our goal is to preserve the health and well-being of all members despite the pandemic. Therefore, the Congress will, following the input of various campus constituencies, develop a document detailing public health guidelines that the student body will agree to follow upon returning to campus. Rather than in the form of a binding document such as a code of conduct, this document will be a community-oriented means of ensuring the health of all members of the F&M community through student-to-student accountability. The Student Agreement is in draft mode, and will continue to be developed in the coming weeks.  

COVID-19 Student Task Force

The COVID-19 Student Task Force convened for the first time on Friday, June 26. This task force consists of 10 students, with four student representatives selected to serve alongside the Executive Board of the Diplomatic Congress. These individuals will be responsible for soliciting consistent feedback from student groups for 2020-2021 Academic Year planning, maintaining a strong working relationship with faculty, staff and administration to inform decision-making, and drafting the COVID-19 Student Agreement. Further information on the objectives of this group can be read in The 13th Diplomatic Congress: Summer 2020 Strategic Plan. 

We will also be working closely with the Office of Student Affairs Working Groups as they plan various aspects of the student experience for Fall 2020. Please stay tuned for updates from our COVID-19 task force, and we are incredibly grateful to the student volunteers for both the DipCon and Student Affairs working groups.

The members of the COVID-19 Student Task Force include:

Shubh Punj, President of the Student Body
Makaila Ranges, Vice President of the Student Body
Zoey Pham, Treasurer
Ali Husaini, Parliamentarian
Amanda Leonard, Communications Director
Ayana Stuart, Executive Officer for Social Justice & Equity 
George Cho, Housing and Dining Committee Chair
Mariana Squicciarini, Student Wellness Committee Chair
Saïsha Ramdour, International Student Advisory Board President
Ali Narracci, Student-Athlete Leadership Council President

P-Safe Initiatives 

As we prepare for an on-campus semester this fall, we plan to continue to bridge the gap between F&M students and the Department of Public Safety by advocating for policy reforms, regular dialogue and increased officer training that focuses on diversity, equity, inclusion and culture. We are also consulting with administration, faculty, and alumni to look into the history and legacy of arming Public Safety officers. Additionally, we are interested in soliciting feedback from students within the next several weeks regarding our review of the Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) policies. Please look out for more information in our next update.

Examining Budget Priorities

Also, in light of the College’s decision to commence in-person instruction, we have begun reviewing the Congressional budget and determining the funding adjustments that may be needed if events need to be adapted to new College policies. Part of this process involves utilizing plans put forward by peer institutions and public health guidelines to determine how student events will be carried out. We have begun this research process, and can proceed forward now that the College has confirmed our return to residential learning in the fall. 

Stay tuned in the coming days and weeks for more updates from the Congress, as we work to communicate our initiatives in as transparent a manner as possible.

Best regards,

The Diplomatic Congress Executive Board

Shubh Punj ’21 (he/his)  – President of the Student Body 
Makaila Ranges ‘22 (she/her)  – Vice President of the Student Body 
Zoey Pham ‘22 (she/her)  – Treasurer 
Ali Husaini ‘22 (he/his)  – Parliamentarian
Amanda Leonard ‘22 (she/her) –  Communications Director 
Ayana Stuart ‘21 (she/her)  – Executive Officer, Social Justice & Equity