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Event promotes dialogue of inclusion

Anna Boarini | Thursday, March 22, 2012

Howard Hall sponsored the Tunnel of Love event Wednesday to promote discussion about diversity and inclusion in light of the alleged hate crimes against two black student organizations that occurred before spring break.

Assistant rector Bridget Nugent said Howard Hall wanted to create a way to promote a different dialogue about diversity on campus.

“Notre Dame is more diverse than some appreciate and we wanted to see all the different forms of diversity we have on campus,” she said, “We wanted to show not just the obvious differences but also the different worldviews and perspectives.”

To show these different perspectives, students covered the Howard Hall tunnel in pictures and images representing diversity on campus.

Nugent asked campus groups such as the Asian American Association, the Black Student Association and CORE council to submit artwork and photos as a way to showcase the differences the campus holds.

“People have different ideas of what diversity is,” she said. “Some people think that Notre Dame is not a very diverse campus. The pictures can help show how diverse and vibrant campus really is.”

Nugent said some of the photos came from the Real Me Project, a photo project celebrating diversity on campus.

“We asked groups to send pictures they thought would symbolize the different types of diversity on campus,” she said.

Nugent said 750 students signed a banner that read, “We are fighting for inclusion” and 600 participants received a bandana to commemorate the event.

Nugent said signing the banner showed solidarity with diverse groups on campus and promoted a spirit of inclusion.

“We have minorities on campus that have beautiful things they contribute and we want there to be a sense of inclusion,” she said.

Nugent said after the event the banner will be used as a backdrop for the opening night of Race Monologues and then will be donated to a multicultural campus group.

“We really want the banner to be a way to give back to the community,” she said.

Nugent said the event was a success and hopes the creativity of the event can help promote discourse.

“We need the recognition that we can rely on discourse to engage that tension and work towards finding a solution,” she said. “The more we rely on discourse, then we can move toward resolution and ultimately inclusion.”

Contact Anna Boarini at aboari01@saintmarys.edu