Skip to comments.Colgate Moves to Improve Diversity. After protests a year ago, the university has added staff,...
Posted on 11/26/2002 3:32:24 PM PST by passive1
Colgate Moves to Improve Diversity
After protests a year ago, the university has added staff, addressed issues.
November 25, 2002By Brian Mannion
A year after Colgate University students protested over racial issues on campus, students and administrators say progress has been made.
The university added two positions focused on diversity, marked Martin Luther King, Jr. Day for the first time and began diversity training for the president and her staff.
"Colgate made a strong commitment to visibly improve diversity on campus," said interim Dean Adam Weinberg.
The controversy began last year, when political science professor Barry Shain wrote in an e-mail to an African-American student that he was concerned minority students were pushed into classes perceived as easier. He cited "the willingness of too many faculty to accommodate, in particular, students of color."
Minority students, upset by the implication they were held to a lesser academic standard, held a sit-in last November.
The group of more than 100 students released a list of demands including "extensive mandatory cultural sensitivity workshops for all professors" and canceling classes for the King holiday. Classes were shortened but not canceled.
"One of the things they really worked on and did well was Martin Luther King Day," said Desmond Alexander, 21, a senior at Colgate. Alexander, who was among the protesters, said he was pleased with the day's seminars and speakers.
More than 20 members of President Rebecca Chopp's senior staff also went through diversity training. The one-day program by an outside consultant helped the staff focus on the issue, said Jack Dovidio, interim dean of the faculty.
Administrators "have appeased us for the moment," Kyle Chandler, 21 and a senio, said. "The immediate response last year was strong..., but slowly but surely they died down.
Weinberg said there is movement. The most visible change, Weinberg said, is the creation of two positions - associate dean for affirmative action and employment initiatives and assistant dean of multicultural affairs.
Marilyn Rugg, as assistant dean for affirmative action, is responsible for diversity and quality of life issues for most Colgate employees.
Rugg's counterpart is Raj Ballani, assistant dean of multicultural affairs, who is the person minority students can go to with problems and ideas to improve campus life.
Last year, Ballani also began hosting "intercultural dialogue meetings." He meets with groups of 20 to 30 students of different races, sexual orientation and nationality every Thursday to discuss their personal experiences.
The goal is to help students find a common ground.
I'm friends with Desmond Alexander, the student mentioned in the article, so I'll have to ask him for the low down. He's a fairly sensible guy.
President Chopp is the new feminist prez. She's very accommodationist. Dean Weinberg is a tool, a former sociology prof who's painful to talk to because you can never believe anything he says, slick Willy style. He's partly responsible for allying Colgate with Zogby Polling on joint ventures.
I've asked this question but have never gotten an answer. How does the gov prove or disprove my diversity quotient? On the outside I look like a white guy who doesn't need to use the lowered urnals to take a leak (I'm not height impared). But, no one knows who my grandfater was so I might be black. I might be Chinese. I might be Hispanic. Your guess is as good as mine. Can I simply announce my diversity and be counted in on all of the benifits for not being a white male?
Somehow, I expected the next line to be:
"So minority students demanded that all students be held to identical academic standards, without exception."
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