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Students register for DSLC

Bridget Feeney | Thursday, March 1, 2012

Registration for the Diverse Students’ Leadership Conference (DSLC) began this week as the Saint Mary’s Student Diversity Board (SDB) prepares to host its annual spring conference for students, faculty and community members. This year’s DSLC Conference will be held on March 20 and 21.

Senior Guadalupe Quintana, SDB vice president and chair of the DSLC Committee, said the Saint Mary’s DSLC is one of the largest student-run conferences in the Midwest.

She said the DSLC will offer participants a range of assorted workshops, speakers and discussions aimed at exploring the theme of this year’s conference, “To change the world, you must start with yourself.”

“We have a rich list of presenters this year,” she said. “Our opening keynote speaker, Arn Chorn Pond, is a survivor of the Cambodian genocide. … closing keynote speaker is Zainab Salbi, founder of Women for Women International, an organization that helps women survivors of war and civil strife get back on their feet.”

Quintana said the DSLC carefully selects speakers and events to provide the most enriching experience possible for participants.

“We choose speakers who have a story that is unique to them, inspiring and motivational,” she said. “Students then are able to see the world through a different lens, learn how to build up their own courage and be appreciative of their lives and the lives of others because everyone has challenges to overcome.”

Junior Rachel Chaddah, a member of the SDB, said the conference is crucial in helping the SDB reach its goal of expanding the appreciation of other cultures.

“[The SDB] is always seeking to create a forum to examine the positive impact diversity provides for all types of settings,” she said. “We want to provide the students, community, and faculty with an outlet to voice their thoughts and opinions on diversity as well as to supply them with new knowledge about it by bringing in workshop presenters and keynote speakers.”

She said the conference will address a number of other issues such as overpopulation, domestic violence and the expression of diversity through tango. Chaddah said she is most looking forward to a performance by a step group from Ivy Tech.

“The step group performed earlier this week at the Saint Mary’s first Apollo Night for Black History Appreciation week and they were absolutely great,” Chaddah said.

Quintana said she expects the conference to be a huge success.

“I hope everyone takes this great opportunity and joins us in our biggest celebration of diversity,” Quintana said.

Registration for the DSLC ends March 5. The conference is free and open to students of Saint Mary’s, the University of Notre Dame and Holy Cross College. Members of the South Bend community are also invited to participate. To register for the event and find a complete schedule of the DSLC events, visit http://www3.saintmarys.edu/DSLC.