Saint Mary's initiates new ethnic diversity commission
By MOLLY MCVOY
Diversity has become a key issue on Saint Mary's campus, and Board of Governance took its first steps to address the issue Tuesday, approving a new student diversity board as part of student government.
The board will bring together ethnic minority groups already present on campus with the hope of giving them a more united and powerful voice on campus.
"I felt the need for [something like this] before," ethnic diversity commissioner Akmaral Omarova said. "In my freshman year, I saw there was not enough of a network of support for underrepresented groups on this campus. When this idea was presented, I thought, this is it."
BOG delayed acceptance of the new board's constitution after Omarova presented a preliminary draft. After offering a few minor suggestions, the board tabled the issue, electing to vote on it next week, when it is expected to pass.
Omarova and Student Activities director Georgeanna Rosenbush researched constitutions of other similar boards from other universities, and from those example created an organization to fit the specific needs of Saint Mary's.
With the inclusion of the board, BOG members hope to improve faculty diversity and propose a world religions class as part of the core curriculum.
"The main goal of this board is for the minorities to have a forum to get together and feel support," Omarova said.
Elections for the board's president and vice president will be held on Feb. 23, the same day as class elections.
In other Board of Governance news
u BOG voted to reimburse members of a group who went on an Urban Plunge to Denver over winter break. Senior Jo Ellen Jeselnick was one of four Saint Mary's students who participated in the program sponsored by Notre Dame's Center for Social Concerns.
The $700 cost was originally paid by students themselves, but the board voted to reimburse each student $250 at Jeselnick's request.
u Allison Webb has been selected as the new Student Activities Board coordinator, Janet Horvath reported.
Applications for chair positions are due on Feb. 25; chairpersons will be selected before spring break. The board also heard updates from class officers and discussed the details of this semester's budget.
All News Stories for Wednesday, February 2, 2000