Quest scholars create advocacy committee

Northwestern’s chapter of Quest Scholars is creating a new committee in an effort to turn dialogue into action following successful discussions of socioeconomic issues at NU.

The Advocacy Committee will focus its efforts on completing tangible actions to change the stigma associated with socioeconomic status and to facilitate the participation of lower-status students in campus programming.

Amanda Walsh, president of the Quest Scholars, said the committee was created because NU needs to move past just having conversations about economic differences.

“The committee will allow anyone who wishes to join to be able to actually work on action items that will allow the University to understand what issues are affecting students on campus with regard to socioeconomic status,” the Communication sophomore said.

Applications for the committee go live Friday and Walsh said it is open to all students, regardless of socioeconomic background.

Although Walsh said the committee will decide what items to focus on, ideas that have been discussed include training faculty and administrators to avoid microaggressions, adding a requirement that all books must be placed in course reserves and changing CTECs to ensure students know what books the course requires.

SESP senior Emily Rivest, former Quest social co-chair, said through the formation of the new committee, she is hoping to incorporate a wider representation of students to take part in the discussions.

“One of the things we are really hoping for is that people that aren’t in Quest will join the Advocacy Committee too,” she said. “Socioeconomic diversity is such an important issue on Northwestern’s campus.”

Rivest added the group has generated student interest through discussing the initiative at previous events and advertising the committee on social media forums.

Walsh said she is excited to move forward with the initiative and to make a noticeable difference in the community.

“Those discussions never seem to go anywhere,” she said. “We always talk, but we never act. We need to move from being comfortable discussing these issues to being comfortable on campus as students from different socioeconomic statuses.”

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @beccasavransky

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Twitter: @tylerpager