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Group opens year with diversity

Maddie Hanna | Thursday, August 25, 2005

The first Senate meeting of the year opened Wednesday night with an issue that has quickly become a hot topic at the University – diversity.

Iris Outlaw, director of multicultural student programs and services, encouraged senators to promote diversity at Notre Dame by wearing blue and gold rubber bracelets imprinted with the phrase “Diversity Matters @ ND.”

“We know how you’ve all been wearing these funky little bracelets,” Outlaw said, referring to trends like the popular “Livestrong” yellow band.

Outlaw said the “schism” that opened last year – a likely reference to the firing of former Irish head football coach Tyrone Willingham – prompted the University to seek a visible symbol of its commitment to diversity.

“We thought we needed to reunify us as a community, faculty, staff and students,” Outlaw said. “We wanted to show Notre Dame was a welcoming place.”

The bracelets are being sponsored by the Office of the President, the Graduate School, the Institute for Latino Studies, Multicultural Student Programs and Services, the Provost Office and the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs. So far, 10,000 have been printed.

In other Senate news:

u Student body president Dave Baron announced the official creation of the Minority Affairs Committee, chaired by Rhea Boyd, and the Community Relations Committee, chaired by Nick Guzman.

Baron also mentioned his excitement for University President Father John Jenkins’ upcoming inauguration.

“It’s a really cool time,” Baron said. “We have the ability to set the tone for students for the entire Jenkins administration.”

u NDBay.com is up and running, chief executive assistant Liz Kozlow said. The Web site, formerly run by recent graduates Chris Kelly and Aaron Wenger, has been purchased by Student Government and will be run by a joint advisory committee along with the Student Business Board.

u Director of Communications Steve Miller said the first edition of campus-wide Stall Notes will come out next week.

u Residence Life Committee chair Mark Seiler said to-go cups have been placed in the dining halls as a pilot program this semester.

u Those interested in Student Government are invited to a “Student Government 101” meeting next Wednesday from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in Montgomery Theatre in LaFortune.