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November 13, 2012

MADISON, WI — The Associated Students of Madison’s Shared Governance Committee held a diversity and climate forum for the Shared Gov Week of Action tonight. Of the around 50 students attending the event, questions focused around recruitment challenges, developing educated and diverse leadership, improved campus climate, and the creation of an improved diversity plan.

Joanne Berg, Vice Provost for Enrollment Management, spoke on UW-Madison having increased diversity among the international student population. In response to a student question about accepted students and those that actually enroll, Joanne stated that a ‘more robust recruitment plan’ is essential for convincing students that the University of Wisconsin- Madison is the best option for them. In response to a student’s plea for Teaching Assistant trainings on diversity, Damon Williams, Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Climate expressed an intent to further the conversation, saying it is an issue ‘we would like to work more on’. Gabe Javier, Director of the LGBT Campus Center, responded in reference to the need for ‘dialogues of differences’ in Teaching Assistant orientations.

Sean Frazier, Deputy Athletic Director, responded to a student question on the lack of involvement of minorities in University events, specifically athletic events. He stated that his office ‘tries to target non-traditional game goers’ in order to recruit student involvement, as well as encouraging marketing sports that can be made affordable for students to attend.

In regards to the Diversity Plan, Dr. Williams stated that Accountability was an essential measure to be included in this year’s diversity plan. ASM Diversity Committee Chair Mia Akers commented: “To best ensure accountability of the processes that come out of the Diversity Plan there needs to be departmental consequences for areas not in compliance. Also, it is important that incentives are provided for the effected departments to make diversity changes to ensure the success of the Diversity Plan.

Student Advocacy on the Diversity Plan will continue at the next meeting of Diversity Committee, which meets Mondays at 5:30pm in the SAC. Please direct all inquiries should be directed to David Gardner at 952-356-5807.

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