O’Keane and Jamil’s plans as DSG Chairman and Vice Chairman 2022-2023


On April 26, the DePauw Student Government (DSG) announced that James O’Keane and Muhammad Rafeh Jamil had won their campaign for Student Body President and Vice President.

O’Keane and Jamil had a total of 232 votes, or 52%, while their opponents Demetrius Morrow and Omar Hassan had 169 votes, or 38%. There were also 46 abstentions (10%).

O’Keane said the DSG chair’s primary responsibilities include leading the board, setting strategic initiatives for the DSG and serving as the primary communicator for the DSG and administration.

Jamil said the vice president serves as the president’s second-in-command and interface with the administration on a regular basis to resolve key issues that arise between Greek organizations while interacting with other vice presidents and overseeing the Student Body Senate.

In addition to core responsibilities, some of their goals include communicating more effectively with the student body, starting a DSG scholarship program, and addressing Greek life issues.

“I would like to address equity on campus first and foremost and communication between student government and the student body,” O’Keane said.

O’Keane said he plans to put this into action by establishing a more organized public relations council, as well as speaking with students and asking them how they want to see DSG communicate. He also plans to have more direct communication through town hall events.

“It’s really about growing the PR board and starting to expand our presence through social media to start with, and then planning more interactive events,” O’Keane said.

To promote diversity, equity and inclusion, O’Keane and Jamil will work to bring DePauw Dialogue back.

“We will do an effective job, and that comes from dialogue. Communication is the most effective way to resolve issues,” Jamil said.

Jamil said he will work to have a more diverse cabinet of powers, with many positions named and connected to each other, so that individuals from different backgrounds can serve as a conduit or representation for their affected group.

“He (O’Keane) comes from a white background, I come from a brown background, and it’s a good game of national and international dynamics. We ourselves are a reflection of diversity and we ourselves back up our claim that we want to have a diverse campus,” Jamil said.

Along with representing a diversity perspective, O’Keane said he wants to work with the Women’s Center, Stevie Baker-Watson and Dr. White to ensure resources are available for survivors of assault. sex on campus.

“We want to work with the Women’s Center to make sure survivors of assault have the resources they need, and that starts with making rape kits available on campus,” O’Keane said.

O’Keane said he would also like to make sure students have a safe place to go in the event of an incident.

“It’s basically a blatant crime to assault someone, regardless of their gender, and I would like to make sure that we are reachable enough, and that people feel so comfortable that they can join us and share the issues they are having,” Jamil said.

O’Keane and Jamil are also focused on making DePauw fairer for students, regardless of their financial circumstances.

“We don’t think financial circumstances should determine a person’s experience here. Our goal is to work with the Student Senate once it is agreed in the fall to launch a pilot program where students can apply for funds for educational expenses such as textbooks, technology, food security and transportation,” O’Keane said. .

Another issue that O’Keane and Jamil plan to address is preserving Greek life for all students, as well as promoting diversity within Greek chapters.

“As a brown student, there is a strong perception on campus that being part of a Greek organization is for white men and women. I think that’s not the case, and I’m a representation of that fact,” Jamil said.

He said he would like to promote diversity in Greek life between international and domestic students.

“I think I can make (students) more comfortable to pursue the idea of ​​extending the legions to Greek organizations and overcome the preconceptions that are attached to Greek life,” Jamil said.

O’Keane said they wanted to make sure Greek life continues for generations as it is a piece of history in the country.

“With the first female Greek-letter (fraternity) to hail from this campus, we want to make sure (Greek life) secures its place here. But we also need to make sure that we address some of the issues that community members have raised about this,” O’Keane said.

He said he will have a working relationship with the leaders of Greek organizations to examine what needs to change and develop a strategy moving forward. He will also work with the new Vice President for Student Affairs, the person who will replace Alan Hill next year.

O’Keane and Jamil are poised to create impactful change on campus throughout their tenure.

“We are honored to be selected by the student body, and I will be personally available all summer via email to respond to students,” O’Keane said.


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