Number 24-11
Description This resolution seeks to take down language barriers during orientation by including different dates/rooms/ and language speakers.
Authored by Alejandro Tamez
Yaseen Tasnif
Sponsored by Yaseen Tasnif
Date Submitted Wednesday, February 28, 2024
Date Considered Tuesday, April 9, 2024
General Body Vote Tuesday, April 16, 2024
Committee Student Affairs
Result In Executive Branch
Whereas For many incoming students, New Maverick Orientation (NMO) serves as a window into the social life, academics, and culture at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA). Orientation is required for all UTA Mavericks to begin their journey. At this event, students learn about academic services, financial assistance, and many more services that are for the academic success of our student; and,
Whereas According to the University Catalog, in Fall 2022, UTA had 40,000 students enrolled, with 32% of students being Hispanic and 12% Asian. A national news company, U.S. News & World Report, named UTA fifth in the nation for ethnic diversity in 2022; and,
Whereas The U.S. Department of Education has designated UTA as a Hispanic Serving Institution and as an Asian American and Pacific Islander Serving Institution; and,
Whereas Only two Spanish-speaking orientation sessions are currently offered to incoming freshmen, which do not fully address the various languages represented at UTA, especially considering its large international student population; and,
Whereas UTA's growing population includes students whose first languages are Bengali, Hindi/Urdu, Korean, Mandarin, Malayalam, Tagalog, Tamil, Telugu, Vietnamese, etc. Currently, there are no NMO sessions tailored to the needs of these students, which can leave them and their families feeling confused and lost. Students, who often act as family translators, may be separated from their families during the process, adding to the disorientation; and,
Whereas 25-30% of Americans experience sensory sensitivities, as reported by the National Institute of Health, which could translate to roughly ten to twelve thousand sensory-sensitive students within UTA's population; and,
Whereas The College Park Center at UTA offers sensory bags (including items like headphones), as well as trained staff to assist sensory sensitive individuals when overstimulated, demonstrating steps being taken to accommodate this community at UTA. However, these steps have not been implemented in New Maverick Orientation, as there are currently no sensory-sensitive orientations offered; and,
Be It Further Resolved That that New Maverick Orientation at UTA should include language-accessible orientation dates during orientation season. Multicultural orientations should include translated materials, information, and other resources for multilingual families; and,
Be It Further Resolved That that New Maverick Orientation at UTA should include sensory-sensitive orientation dates during orientation season. Sensory-sensitive orientations should include reduced sound usage, dimmer visual stimulation, the ability to leave to decompress without consequences, and other similar resources.
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