This year, we've brought issues of college affordability and student rights to the forefront. We passed a medical amnesty policy to keep students safe and are close to securing gender neutral housing. We united against a major tuition increase, and the trustees listened, making the smallest increase since 2001 and increasing financial aid. I'm proud of the work we've done together, and as we look towards next year, I hope to continue addressing the issues that matter most.
In this time of economic uncertainty, we must continue working towards college affordability. Many of us have seen losses in income and student loans, and our futures at Emerson hang in the balance. The college has promised an increase in financial aid, including assistance for returning students who have seen a change in their financial situations. The college must keep this promise.
I will also be asking the college to raise the student employee wage using funds from the tuition increase. We must address other issues of college costs as well. I'll ask the library to once again purchase second copies of the most in-demand textbooks, and I'll discuss meal plan prices and on campus food costs with Business Services.
This year we've made major strides for student rights. But now we're faced with the question of campus diversity. I call on the administration to make the tenure process transparent. I commend the students who have expressed concern over the recent tenure decision. We must examine current policies and continue to work toward an Emerson that is as welcoming as possible to all members of its community.
Next year, I hope the administration will finally approve gender neutral housing so all students can feel comfortable with their living situation. I'll also be working with the language department to expand foreign language and culture classes so we can better understand those different from ourselves.
Student governments are often ridiculed for being ineffective. This year we've proved the naysayers wrong. But everything we've accomplished is a result of working together and of hard work. We've done research, started Facebook groups, sent e-mails and spoke to our classmates about issues that matter. Our work has not only changed policies at Emerson, but has also been featured in media outlets like Fox News and iThe Boston Globe/i.
I hope that next year we can continue working in that spirit on the issues I've mentioned as well as the many other ideas discussed during my campaign. If you think of anything over the summer, please send an e-mail to my Emerson address. What we've accomplished has already reached members outside of our community. I believe that what we accomplish at this small school in Boston can inspire change in colleges across the country. I look forward to another year of working towards positive change.