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Diversity Committee Reborn

February 29, 2012

Written by the Diversity Committee Press Liaision Vikram  Ramesh:

In Spring 2012, the Diversity Committee is ready to undergo new initiatives aimed at increasing the participation of traditionally underrepresented students within the student government and facilitating as an open forum for ideas that pertain to multicultural  issues. With the leadership of Niko Magallon, the newly elected Diversity Committee Chair, we are steadily increasing our membership and support base as more students are interested in sharing the vision of social justice and equality that Diversity Committee seeks to accomplish.

Following a period of waning activity, the Diversity Committee is rebuilding its membership base and rearming members with the necessary tools to begin its outreach to the campus-wide community. Under the vision of Niko Magallon, we are undergoing a period of internal reconstruction where we hope to serve the diversity of the campus-wide community effectively and efficiently. We are slowly becoming based on a liaison system where each member is responsible for reaching out to a specific constituency and representing their interests. This makes it so that each member is responsible for their constituency and serves as a conduit for their ideas, bringing them to the attention of the Diversity Committee. In doing so, the Diversity Committee is able to echo their sentiments to the ASM General Assembly and create policies that benefits the campus-wide community.

In the wake of recent discriminatory actions such as the UW-Parkside incident, the Diversity Committee is reaffirming its position to protect and represent the interests of underrepresented students within the student government structure. Situations like the one that occurred at UW-Parkside can be avoided if the campus-wide community exercises heightened sensitivity and increased judgment, which the Diversity Committee aims at promoting. As an initiative coordinated by all the members of the Diversity Committee, we are committed to redeveloping the curriculum of Ethnic Studies courses so that students actively engage in the discussion of topics that best meets the need of an increasingly diverse student body. This means the inclusion of courses that engage students in a healthy discussion over race, identity, religion, and sexual orientation. In pursuing this new approach to this general education requirement, we are helping future students become global citizens who are conscientious of our increasingly diverse community and can exercise tolerance for others.

Lastly, the Diversity Committee is focused on supporting the positive contributions that multicultural student organizations have had on the community, ensuring that their advocacy does not go without recognition.  We stand by our commitment to represent organizations in a fair and accurate manner to the greater ASM body. In the past, we have seen many of these student organizations organize spectacular events and programs aimed at promoting the cultural vibrancy of our multifaceted student population.  The Diversity Committee wants to create effective policies that praises the hard work of all student organizations so that they can continue with their positive and influential activities for all students here at the University of Wisconsin.

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