Student Government does help diversity
Joyce De Leon
I must say Jourdan Sorrel's April 22 letter hurt me. Although I agree with him about some students' lack of initiative and movement on important issues, you do not know the entire picture. For you to say that Student Government has done nothing to improve race relations on campus personally offends me for I was the Diversity Chair in that office this past year. Not only was I able to put on a successful Multicultural Fair where over 400 students, both minority and white, attended, but I also worked extensively to have a Learning to Talk about Race retreat for student leaders in Student Government and a training workshop for multi-cultural commissioners. In addition, I created forums and panels where at least 50 students, mostly white to your surprise, attended to finally open up dialogue about diversity, AIDS, religion and sexual orientation.
These events may not have turned Notre Dame into Berkeley in one year; however, it is a step. For the first time in my three years, I actually saw larger numbers of white students attending cultural and ethnic events than ever before. Even alumni from merely five years ago agreed with that observation.
I agree with you that the University has a long way to go, but to claim that Student Government has done nothing for minorities is undoubtedly a false statement. Granted, diversity issues did not cause a stir like the alcohol policy, but perhaps this is because of the student media, not the lack of effort on Student Government's or my part.
It is easy to get caught up and not realize some accomplisments or strides that other organizations have made in diversity, especially since it doesn't get onto the front page of The Observer like other things on campus. However, in terms of diversity, I also do not know exactly what successes you have personally brought to the table, but I know you worked diligently all year toward a great goal.
Joyce De Leon
former Diversity co-chair
April 22, 2002
All Viewpoint Stories for Thursday, April 25, 2002