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CLC passes diversity resolution

Laura McCrystal | Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Campus Life Committee (CLC) unanimously passed a resolution Monday to encourage the creation of a committee to support diverse students beyond their first year at Notre Dame.

Brigitte Githinji presented the resolution, which was created by the CLC task force on new student introduction to Notre Dame.

Githinji said that before the task force narrowed its focus to upper-class students, it aimed to help all diverse students feel welcome at Notre Dame.

“We wanted to see how we could help international and multi-cultural students feel comfortable and get into Notre Dame,” she said.

When the task force discovered that International Student Services was already involved in a similar project, Githinji said the focus shifted to diverse students on campus.

They conducted a survey of international and diverse students, in which they found that first-year students were welcomed and made aware of resources available for their adjustment to the University. After the first year at Notre Dame, however, the survey participants indicated that their needs were no longer addressed, Githinji said.

“There’s more focus on helping first year students being welcomed as diverse students,” she said. “[Resources] are available for everybody and not just first year students, but I feel that after the first year, students are not told about them as much.”

The resolution proposes that a committee composed of students, faculty and administrative staff address the issue of continued outreach to diverse students at Notre Dame.

The CLC acknowledged that committees already exist to address issues for diverse students. Githinji said the CLC task force met with a committee led by associate vice president for student affairs Ann Firth as it developed the resolution. Another committee, led by assistant vice president for student affairs David Moss, also addresses similar concerns.

“What we are asking is that they put together their resources and compile them to address this issue,” Keough Hall rector Fr. Pete McCormick, C.S.C., said about the committees.

The committees are encouraged that the resolution will facilitate communication between them in order to more efficiently address the issue, Githinji said.

“The goal is to encourage interactions between those groups. And also create a committee that focuses on retention,” she said.