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Students discuss Identity Forum

Kelly Meehan | Tuesday, November 9, 2004

Board of Governance members discussed the recent Saint Mary’s Identity Forum, which focused on diversity at the College, and the T-shirt sold to students during Pride Week in September. BOG members said some students found the T-shirt to be sexist and racist. Additionally some students believe the T-shirts inappropriately stereotyped the College.”I feel that it is important for us to have honest discussion about the T-shirts, recognizing that there are a lot of opinions out there,” women’s issues commissioner Katie Kelly said. Student Body president Sarah Catherine White apologized for not being able to attend the discussion and said that she looked forward to attending future identity forums. Katie Kelly, the primary organizer of the forum, said she would like to hear feedback from the audience regarding what they liked and disliked about it. Many board members commented on the fact that it was important to continue this campus wide dialogue and find ways to get those who did not attend the forum to attend future forums. The board also discussed the forum’s length. Last week it lasted only one hour due to a fire drill that occurred in LeMans Hall. Some felt that this was not enough time and that not everyone had a chance to voice their opinion. It was also noted that some students felt that no progress was made regarding the definition of a Saint Mary’s woman. “People need to be reasonable. We cannot solve anything in one hour,” student body vice president Mary Pauline Moran said. Kelly said she hoped to hold another identity forum sometime before Thanksgiving and also intends to create a committee to focus on discussion questions and the agenda of the forums. “These are life long issues we will face both in and out of college. It helps us think further as student leaders,” Sarah Catherine White said.

In other BOG news:u Adriana Puente, the new president of the Student Diversity Board, said she intended to focus on increased accessibility for the disabled around campus. SDB also plans to contribute to the discussion of campus diversity by conducting a survey to see what specific issues are on students’ minds. They will also be hosting a Nov. 18 diversity forum. u The Student Activities Board will host a showing of Shrek 2 Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. in Carroll Auditorium. u Mission commissioner Mary Beth Swyart said the second Service Sunday occurred last Sunday and had a turnout of about 25 students. Swyart said she was pleased with the turnout and plans to hold another Service Sunday sometime in December. Junior class president Danielle Lerner said the class formal will be Nov. 20. The class is also in the process of selling Junior Mom’s Weekend Cookbooks to fundraise for Junior Mom’s weekend, which will be held in April.