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In response to recent executive orders issued by President Donald Trump, the Utah State University Student Association president’s cabinet launched a school-wide campaign to celebrate diversity.
“We wanted to do something to let everyone know they’re welcome and make everyone feel like they have a part,” said Carly Thornhill, the president’s cabinet director.
The campaign consists of weekly videos aiming to promote diversity, posters around campus and social media pictures using #USUUnited.
Thornhill said the campaign aims to promote different forms of diversity, including race, gender, religion and sexual orientation.
“It’s a hard time for a lot of people, so we need to come together and support one another,” she said.
Michael Scott Peters, the USUSA president-elect, said he plans to continue the campaign’s message throughout his presidency.
Peters’ campaign slogan was “everyone belongs,” which he said he chose to use because USU has students from more than 80 countries and “some people don’t know that.”
Bridget Baldwin, the student advocate vice president-elect, said she plans to hold town halls and other forums for students to voice their opinions and talk about issues they are facing related to diversity.
Similarly, Thornhill said one purpose of the campaign was “to give everyone a platform to talk about their diversity.”
Baldwin said she thinks USUSA often does not hear matters coming from “international students and other students who have different needs and interests” as often as they hear about other issues.
“We hear issues about parking, but if someone is feeling like they’re being targeted on campus, that’s equally, if not more, important,” she said.
Matthew Clewett, the current student advocate vice president, said he has developed a passion for caring about diversity through his position on the USUSA diversity council — a group consisting of the USUSA organizations and campus diversity vice president, the student advocate vice president and representatives from international clubs.
“Diversity is not only about the color of your skin — it’s about your thoughts and your story,” Clewett said, emphasizing that he thinks everyone has a story to tell.
Thornhill said the campaign celebrates differences while also encouraging people to “come together as an Aggie family.”
Similarly, Peters said he thinks it “shows that we do have differences at Utah State, but that we can look past the surface and realize that we’re all an Aggie family.”