View of University Heights North in fall

A Letter From The Student Equity Action Committee (SEAC).

Fellow Honors College Peers, 

The Honors College (HCOL) can be described as a community with an abundant source of academic curiosity and intellectual diversity. Despite this, our community continues to be a reflection of the demographic homogeneity of UVM as a whole.  It is important that we acknowledge this fact because marginalized communities are already at risk in diverse contexts — even more so within the realm of higher education. This is why we must work hard to support and uplift underrepresented voices. We strive to do this through institutional advocacy, programming, self-education, and open, meaningful conversations. 

That being said, the UVM community is not a safe haven where issues cease to exist. The fight for equity isn’t over merely because many of us acknowledge its existence; it is an ongoing effort which necessitates continued hard work, listening to student voices, and coalition-building. It is key to identify issues which affect students of marginalized identities, and to then construct actionable plans with targeted policies specifically designed to help support these students. It is often the societal assumption that it’s the duty of individuals of marginalized backgrounds to educate their peers on their identity, but this often emotionally draining, and time-consuming task should not be their sole responsibility. Therefore, extra effort must be placed on educating students on diversity and inclusion within structured courses. 

Overall, it is within the power of the students to be the change for a better and more equitable future and it is the role of faculty and staff to be mentors who aid students as they develop and transition into that role. We want to empower and support students to get involved. It is the community's responsibility to have respectful, open, and supportive communication in addressing injustice. The Student Equity Action Committee (SEAC), strives to maintain and encourage this dialogue on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in order to help develop a more culturally competent environment, and to inform students on how we can dismantle systemic injustices. It is through these efforts that HCOL can achieve its goal of creating globally responsible citizens. 

The Student Equity Action Committee  (SEAC) strives to build and maintain an equitable Honors College community of globally responsible and multiculturally competent individuals. We will embrace the knowledge, skills, and voices of those with diverse experiences to foster an atmosphere of inclusion and excellence in alignment with university-wide efforts.

The committee meets regularly, and works closely with the Honors College staff-led Committee on Equity and Inclusion to build an increasingly inclusive Honors College at UVM.

Members of the Student Equity Action Committee

Ginny DeFrances, Student Equity Action Committee Co-Chair

Hello everyone! My name is Ginny DeFrances and I am from Newington, Connecticut which is right outside of Hartford. I am a junior Political Science major with a minor in Environmental Studies. As part of SEAC the projects I usually work on are our mental health initiatives and the LGBTQ+ affinity spaces. In my free time I love to enjoy some sunshine, read, craft, and listen to music. Please feel free to reach out at vdefranc@uvm.edu!

Sierra Sabec, Student Equity Action Committee Co-Chair

Hello everyone! My name is Sierra Sabec. I am a Sophomore, majoring in Psychology and Anthropology with a concentration in Global Health and I am from the San Francisco Bay Area, in California. Here at UVM, I am a member of multiple clubs such as Active Minds, Runway of Dreams, and Dance Force. I am also currently doing research in the Stickle Lab on co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders. Within SEAC, I have worked on projects around mental health initiatives. In my free time, I enjoy reading, live music, and ice skating. Please feel free to reach out to me at ssabec@uvm.edu!

Emma Allen, Student Equity Action Committee Member

Hi! I’m Emma, a third-year Political Science major double-minoring in Spanish and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies. I was born and raised in Brattleboro, the third largest town in Vermont. I am passionate about social justice issues, which is one of the reasons I got involved with SEAC. Within the committee, I run the social justice and outreach platforms. I also help organize and run the BIPOC affinity spaces. Outside of my work here at UVM, I love spending time outdoors, exploring new places, and eating great food. Please feel free to reach out to me at eallen11@uvm.edu.

Zoë Barton, Student Equity Action Committee Member

Hi everyone! I ’m Zoë! I am from a small town in a place called the Upper Valley in Vermont. I am a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences currently enjoying studying Biochemistry (my major) and Health and Society (my minor). In SEAC, I am looking to work on BIPOC affinity spaces and hopefully restarting service-learning trips. In my free time, I enjoy soccer, playing piano, and listening to music. Email me at zoe.barton@uvm.edu!

Kat Subramanian, Student Equity Action Committee Member

Hi, my name is Kat, and I am a sophomore here at UVM! I am from 40 minutes outside Chicago, and I am a Communication Sciences and Disorders Major with a Special Education minor! I am a member of UVM’s Asian Student Union, a mentor for Think College, a UVM AdvoCat, and a member of both the Speech and Hearing and Linguistics clubs! I also play ultimate frisbee! I am currently focusing on building affinity spaces for BIPOC students alongside my peers on the committee and also on restarting our former service-learning trips. I love to read, watch anime, draw, the smell of the ground after the rain, tea, and cats! :) Book Recommendation: Circe. Feel free to reach out to me! My email is klsubram@uvm.edu!

Zane Zupan, Student Equity Action Committee Member

Hello, icon. My name is Zane Zupan, and I’m from Manchester, Vermont, (which is about 2.5 hours south of Burlington). I’m a first year Political Science, and Gender, Sexuality, & Women’s Studies double-major. I’m attempting to quadruple-minor in Public Policy Analysis, Sociology, Behavioral Change Health Studies, and Speech & Debate. I am currently planning on attending Law School after my undergrad career at UVM to pursue a career in Social Justice & Advocacy. Within SEAC, I focus on queer coalition building, mental health advocacy, and trans & non-binary advocacy. Additionally, I have personal experience with SAS (Student Accessibility Services), as well as the Title IX office, and am happy to offer support and insight into how they uniquely interact with the Honors College from a student’s perspective. A large portion of my freetime also revolves around advocacy, including my political/queer issues TikTok, which was recently featured in Gaygenda Magazine after accumulating 40M views, and 7.2M likes. I love plants, caffeine, and good hummus! A book that helped me a lot is “The Universe Has Your Back” by Gabrielle Bernstein. Email me at zane.zupan@uvm.edu, if you have questions or need an advocate.

SEAC programming in HCOL

  • Focus Groups on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in the Honors College

Monday April 4, 6:30-7:30pm OR
Wednesday April 6, 5-6pm

Have your voices heard! Share your experiences. Please sign up to join us for one of two very important in-person opportunities to share your opinions and ideas.

  • Free Movie Screening: Paris is Burning! Date/Time TBA!
  • Spill The Tea Event: Date/Time TBA!

 

 
 

Have any suggestions or concerns about equity and inclusion in the Honors College? Anonymously submit them with this suggestion box form.
 
 

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