An open letter: Diversity

To President George Bridges; Treasurer and CFO Peter Harvey; Dean Timothy Kaufman-Osborne; Dean Chuck Cleveland; the students, staff, and faculty that make up the College Budget Advisory Committee; and the general Whitman community:

We are a cadre of concerned student leaders who are enthusiastically in support of the proposal presented by the Dean of Students to create a new position for the 2007-2008 school year: an Assistant Director of the Intercultural Center.

We are diversity club representatives and presidents, current and former Intercultural Center interns, and members of every standing committee on ASWC. We see an assistant director of the Intercultural Center as extremely beneficial to the college and absolutely imperative to our goals as an institution of higher learning.

We watch the current Director of the Intercultural Center, Mukulu Mweu, overworked and understaffed, laudably but sadly doing the job of three staff members simply because she is one of two staff members paid to address diversity issues on this campus—the other being Kris Berry, International Students Advisor.

We see too many minority students feel alienated and dejected because there are only a few individuals at the college who they can turn to when they feel out of place and alone. We watch diversity clubs and organizations on campus go largely uncoordinated and unsupported not for lack of trying, but for lack of resources, time, and energy.

We have heard Whitman College’s goals at fostering diversity on this campus, and then watch it proceed to take half-measures towards this end. Fostering diversity does not just happen in the Admissions office, but must be an all-campus effort. Much like the symposium, the creation of an Assistant Director of the Intercultural Center is a step in the right direction. This person would ideally help to coordinate and mentor student groups to program more effectively, and would be trained in counseling diversity students.

We know that this proposal has been deliberated over by the President, Treasurer, and the members of the College Budget Advisory Committee. We believe that this position is an essential part to truly addressing diversity on this campus, We urge you to support the creation of an Assistant Director to the Intercultural Center.

Signed by: Ajay Abraham, Gabrielle Arrowood, Chris Chamness, Desiree Conti, Nadim Damluji, Griff Lambert, Bryce McKay, Julia Nelson, Brett Rawson, Mike Sado, Shayna Tivona, Cory Ulrich, Eric Wehlitz, Veronica Willeto


1 Comment

Filed under Opinion

One response to “An open letter: Diversity

  1. Natalie Knott

    I fully support this letter and add my name to the list of supporters.

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