Faculty Senate discusses indigenous land statement

Adam Tumino, Editor-in-Chief

The Eastern Faculty Senate met virtually Tuesday afternoon.

After various committee reports were given to open the meeting, Eastern Provost Jay Gatrell gave his report to the senate.

Among other things, he discussed the plans for outdoor commencement at the end of the semester.

“We’re pretty excited about that. I know the students are. Obviously outside commencements are a great opportunity to sort of enjoy mother nature, however, it also means it can rain,” Gatrell said.

He added that there is a contingency plan in place if it rains on that day where students can meet with their dean to get their diploma and have their photo taken.

Another factor for this plan is that COVID-19 numbers are well under control, and Gatrell also spoke about plans to help students access free Johnson & Johnson vaccines being offered by Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center on April 9 and 10.

He said that the university is working on having buses available to shuttle students to and from the health center for their vaccinations.

The meeting ended with a discussion on whether the university should put out an indigenous land statement. The statement would acknowledge that the land upon which Eastern sits originally belonged to the indigenous people in the area.

The senate discussed the benefits of putting out a statement and how they could supplement it with something more meaningful.

They also considered getting feedback from indigenous communities on what the university could do that would be more beneficial than an acknowledgement.

It was decided that the discussion would be revisited in the next meeting.


Adam Tumino can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]