SMC hall director Shea receives award

first_imgResponsible for supervising 10 resident advisors (RAs) and about 264 residents, McCandless Hall and Opus Hall director Kady Shea received the Advisor of the Year award for her work with the College Residence Hall Association (RHA). Shea has not only managed to keep order in the residence halls, but has helped make some vast improvements to the quality of life on Saint Mary’s campus.“[I really enjoy] getting to interact with students on a regular basis, and getting to know them personally, what’s going on in their lives and just being able to help them as best I can with whatever is going on,” Shea said.The award was presented at the Indiana Residence Hall Organization Conference on Feb. 6.Shea and LeMans Hall director Leslie Robinson co-advise RHA at the College.Shea was nominated by the members of RHA and was chosen by the directors of the Indiana Residence Hall Organization (IRHO).“The advisor of the year was pretty cool just because advising RHA is part of my job but its just one small piece of my job,” Shea said. “They nominated me for this award  and the directorship of IRHO recognized my accomplishment. That was pretty cool to receive that.”Shea began working at the College in August 2008. Since that time she has not only acted as a co-advisor for RHA, but as advisor for McCandless Hall Council as well. Additionally, she has worked to help improve RA training as well as the room selection process.Shea is also responsible for keeping the Residence Life Web site up to date.“It’s a challenge, but I also find it very entertaining,” Shea said. “I try to have a positive look at it. Working with Residence Life and being a hall director, you come into work every day not knowing what to expect. It’s not the type of thing where you log onto a computer and start entering numbers all day.”Shea decided to become a hall director during her undergraduate studies at Simmons College in Boston.  Shea said she originally wanted to be a teacher.“I always knew that I wanted to help people in some capacity,” she said. “I had a first-year experience class where I had a college administrator who facilitated the class and she actually worked in Residence Life and kind of opened my eyes to Residence Life. That’s when I discovered that you can make a career out of this and you can do everything you love, work with students and get paid for it.”Shea said she enjoyed working as a hall director at Saint Mary’s. She has had a positive experience with the RAs as well as the other residents in her halls.“I really enjoy working with first year students just because transitioning into college is not always easy and being able to help them with that transition is pretty awesome, and being able to see them grow through out the year,” Shea said.last_img read more

Music video draws mixed reactions

first_imgA video project for the Athletics Department featuring the Notre Dame pom squad, footage from football and basketball games and Ohio-based funk band Freekbass has created a stir among students — resulting in a Facebook group protesting the video with almost 4,000 members. The “We are ND” video features Freekbass singing the chorus “We are ND. We are Notre Dame” throughout campus, in the Notre Dame Stadium, the Joyce Athletic Center and under the “Play Like a Champion Today” sign.But Film, Television and Theatre (FTT) Professor Ted Mandell, producer of the video and writer of the “We are ND” song, said the video is not meant to be an official promotional video for the University. Mandell said he produced the video for Athletics Department’s end of the year awards show, the O.S.C.A.R.S, which highlights the achievement of student athletes.“The idea was to make a fun, laugh at yourself, cheer for the Irish, dance in the parking lots, celebration song that would fit well with the tone of the O.S.C.A.R.S show,” he said. “It’s intended to be a goofy, carefree dance song you sing when you’re partying in the parking lot after beating Michigan. Something that fans can chant, and jump up and down to.”Yet some students say the video, which features Freekbass in large sunglasses and funky outfits, does not fit Notre Dame.“We want to tell the Boston College and USC fans that will make fun of us that we didn’t give the okay,” sophomore Kyle Blanco said. “It’s only a small portion of the Notre Dame population behind it.”Freshman Christopher Grunewald, one of the students who started the Facebook group “Protest ‘We are ND’ Video,” said the creators of the group felt Freekbass was not representative of Notre Dame.“My first impression was, ‘why is a guy wearing freak attire singing 70s funk on our basketball court and under our Play Like a Champion Today sign, singing, We are ND?’” Grunewald said. Junior Michael Burke, a production assistant for the video and FTT student, said he thinks the students criticizing the video are taking it out of context. “The video really had no purpose. [Mandell] wasn’t trying to reinvent school spirit,” Burke said. “I could have guessed some people wouldn’t like it, but I didn’t think people would be so outspoken. I think it’s ridiculous that people are taking it so seriously.”Burke said the video cost nothing and was not sanctioned in an official capacity by the University. “I think it was apparent to everyone song was corny, Burke said. “It just wasn’t meant to be as serious as people are taking it. It’s supposed to be light-hearted and just funny.”Despite the reaction from students, Burke said producing the video was a fun experience. “It was really awesome working with equipment and helping professors do something on more professional level rather than as a student,” he said. Senior Stephanie Jensen, a member of the Notre Dame Marching Band, plays the falto during a scene filmed at Legends in the video. “I think the video was really well put together, but I’m not  a really big fan of the song itself,” she said. Jensen said her scene was filmed in about five or six takes, which took about half an hour. Burke said the whole video was filmed in one day.“It’s always fun being with band kids,” Jensen said of the experience filming the video. “It was kind of weird. I can’t really verbalize it. It wouldn’t be something Notre Dame would usually do. I guess it was just atypical.”Grunewald said he was surprised at how fast the Facebook group protesting the video grew.“It was actually funny. I started it and within about 20 minutes, there were already over 100 people, and it grew exponentially from there,” Grunewald said.But Mandell said he has heard positive feedback on the video as well. “I think being posted on the University YouTube Channel set up certain expectations for the viewer. No one expected to see a video from the O.S.C.A.R.S. No one expected to see a guy like Freekbass. No one expected to hear a funky little fan song,” he said “I think some viewers applied their expectations of what they thought it would be, to what it really was, and that produces negative opinion.“I’ve gotten nothing but positive feedback from fellow faculty and administrators who see it for what it is — fun and goofy. Freekbass certainly doesn’t take himself seriously. He makes fun of himself.”last_img read more

Group reviews Council rules

first_imgStudent body president Catherine Soler delivered her State of the Student Union address to Student Senate Wednesday before its members passed a resolution to revise the Off-Campus Council. “It is very encouraging to see that we have accomplished many of the goals that we set out to,” Soler said. “We have introduced Student for South Bend discount program — the first of its kind in our community; the Rent-A-Text Program is up and running; and there are now three different varieties of hummus in the dining halls.” Soler said other projects have been pushed forward throughout the semester, such as the completion of a computer cluster in Jordan Hall and long-term plans for renovations to the DeBartolo Lounge. “Additionally, we have maintained the successful programs of past administrations such as TRANSPO, College Readership and the Lease Fair,” she said. The administration approached the close of first semester in after unforeseen challenges. “We have been thrown into various situations that were unexpected such as taking on the responsibility to redo pep rallies, representing the student body during the period of high arrests and being leaders in the time of great sadness with the passing of Declan,” Soler said. “In all of this I am proud of the ability — and not just from [student body vice president] Andrew [Bell], [student government chief-of-staff] Nick [Ruof] and me — but all of our student leaders who stepped up in these situations, no questions asked, and fulfilled our responsibilities to represent the students and live out being someone from Notre Dame.” Student government looks at the future optimistically as it will continue to develop projects like the eND Hunger campaign and improve community relations, Soler said. “Tonight we have the proposed amendment to the structure and role of the Off-Campus Council,” she said. “This is an important internal step to finding long-term solutions to good neighbor relations, protecting the welfare of our student and promoting great relationship with our community.” Off-Campus Council president Ryan Hawley presented a resolution to the Senate to change the structure of the Off-Campus Council. The resolution proposed two significant changes. “We want to change the constitution so students currently on campus who plan to move off campus can run for Off-Campus Council positions,” Hawley said. Positions on the Off-Campus Council were only open to students who moved out of the residence halls before their junior year. After the change, students who did not live off campus during the previous year would still be eligible for office. “There is very limited junior pool that lives off campus,” Hawley said. “That group is not representative of the entirety of the people who live off campus.” The officers do not need to have lived off-campus during their junior year to manage the Off-Campus Council during their senior year, Hawley said. “In the past there has not been a really interested candidate pool,” Hawley said. “Tons of people on campus are interested and qualified, and we want to afford them the opportunity to run.” The second change was the addition of Off-Campus Council ambassadors. Student body vice president Andrew Bell said the ambassadors would function off campus like senators in on-campus residence halls. “For every dorm, there is a senator who is local to you and gets information to you,” Bell said. “Ideally there would be someone who lives at Irish Row with you who can do the same.” Breen-Philips senator Erin Burke said the changes would help off-campus students with community relations. “I would like to support this resolution,” Burke said. “We have spent a lot of time discussing how we can make the Off-Campus Council more active and more effective to help students be good neighbors.” The Senate passed the resolution with a vote of 25 in favor, two opposed and no abstentions.last_img read more

University hosts conference on gender and foodways

first_imgFood and gender everywhere, but never a bite to link … or is there? The conference, “Food Networks: Gender and Foodways,” hosted by the Notre Dame gender studies program, explored the link between food and gender this past weekend. Pamela Wojcik, director of the Gender Studies Program, said the conference allowed for a dialogue that focused on a popular topic.  “I started thinking about food just because it is clearly a dominant topic in the culture,” she said. “We’re talking about food at levels and ways across the board … Newt Gingrich is [attacking] Obama as the food stamp president … Michelle Obama is launching anti-obesity campaigns [and] everyone is excessively watching the Food Network. There is just so much stuff right now.” In addition, the conference allowed Wojcik to accomplish one of her goals for the Gender Studies Program. “One of my projects running gender studies is to … make gender studies more truly gender studies and not women’s studies,” she said. “Internally, I’ve been trying to work on it to bring in more issues of masculinity, queerness, trying to get more departments involved and to emphasize the interdisciplinary qualities of gender studies.” She said if food and gender could be combined, it would produce an interesting interdisciplinary dialogue. Betsy Cornwell, a Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) student in creative writing, served as the chair of the panel, “Appetite: Creative Writers on Food, Gender and Self.” “I actually heard about the conference because I was taking a class with Pam Wojcik, and she asked me one day if [I] or any of the other MFA students ever wrote about food and gender,” she said. “And [those themes are] pretty much all I write about.” Cornwell and two other MFA students, Seth Oelbaum and Carina Finn, each read some of their work and hosted a roundtable discussion about the themes of food, gender and self that is present in their work at the conference. “[Our disciplines are] all really, really different, so it was a great sample,” Cornwell said. Kimberly Roland, a double major in Political Science and Humanistic Studies at Saint Mary’s College, presented as an undergraduate representative. Her presentation, “Women, Minorities, and Food Activism: The Story of How One Women’s College Across the Street Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Real Food,” was an interactive presentation about the Real Food Challenge active at Saint Mary’s College and the work Roland has done as a Midwest Regional Field Organizer of the Challenge. “Real Food Challenge leverages the power of youth and universities to create a healthy, fair and green food system, ” she said. “Our primary campaign is to shift
$1 billion of existing university food budgets away from industrial farms and towards local, community-based, fair, ecologically sound and humane food
sources ¾what we call “real food” ¾by 2020. 
The term “real food” represents a commitment to the multifaceted nature of this movement.” Roland said that food and gender are related to each other on many levels, and she wanted to represent this in her presentation. “My presentation … included discussion about the role of food in the everyday life of college women from issues of body image, eating disorders, allergies and humane treatment of animals,” she said. “Food is something that connects and impacts all of us. So for me, it is crucial to address the injustice in the food system, especially oppression of minorities and women.”last_img read more

SMC Art Gallery explores globalized landscapes

first_imgThe Moreau Art Galleries of Saint Mary’s launched a new exhibit Wednesday featuring four distinct art pieces by collaborating artists Ryan Griffis and Sarah Ross.The art pieces are inspired by globalization and industrialization of rural towns, Griffis said.Ross and Griffis agreed the exhibit takes a “poetic” angle on metropolitan, cosmopolitan, urban landscapes.The largest installation, “Global Cities, Model Worlds” is located in Little Theater and Sister Rosaire Gallery. Ross said the multidimensional and interactive piece  focuses on “the spatial and social impacts of mega-events, specifically Olympic games.”Three videos that make up “From the Bottomlands to the World (an excerpt)” play on a loop in Hammes Gallery: “Granular Space” (2012), “Submerging Land” (2012) and “Moving Flesh” (2014).“The artists write that the host cities of these international spectacles seek to transform themselves into ‘global cities’ through planning, architecture and ideology,” Tiffany Johnson Bidler, the director of the galleries, said. “Locally, these events pave the way for redevelopment projects that can create new public resources such as parks, stadiums or transportation infrastructure but often result in significant displacement of residents or industry, reinforcing existing inequalities.”According to Ross’s website, the video trilogy is an experimental take on a rural Midwestern town of 6,000 people, “a place of global exchange and international mobility.”Small Midwestern cities are a hub for industries hoping to avoid urban regulations and immigrants seeking employment, Ross said.This exchange is evident in Beardstown, Ill. The city’s major industry, a slaughterhouse, hired migrants from Mexico before turning to immigrants from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Togo, Senegal, Puerto Rico and other Caribbean locales for new workers, Ross said.The exhibition is a result of time and effort on the parts of Griffis and Ross, Johnson Bidler said.“The artists installed their own show for the most part in this case, and it took them two days,” Johnson Bidler said. “They drove in from Chicago. The gallery assistants and I were responsible for wall text, labels and promotion of the event.”This exhibition is free and available to the public until Oct. 31.Tags: globalization, industrialization, Moreau Art Gallerieslast_img read more

Visiting professor discusses nuclear arms

first_imgIn a lecture Monday titled “The Atomic Monstrosity from ‘Gojira’ (1954) to ‘Godzilla’ (2014)”, Professor Yuki Miyamoto of DePaul University said the issue of nuclear weapons is largely misrepresented and trivialized in the media.“The popular media also contributes … to our deviation, or our not looking … into this issue,” she said.Miyamoto said the media misrepresents nuclear warfare through two channels — the feminization and trivialization of the atomic bombs.Miyamoto said the media has focused largely on images of women in photographs, songs or television shows, in relation to the atomic bombs. She said the popular image of the smiling Hiroshima maidens brought to the U.S. for plastic surgery “contributes to feminization of the bomb itself.”“It’s horrible, it’s dangerous, but it’s fixable,” Miyamoto said.Miyamoto specifically focused on the ‘Gojira’ films, or the 28 Japanese adaptations of ‘Godzilla.’ She said the films embody the media’s misrepresentation of nuclear weapons.Miyamoto said the films attach an image of fantastical monstrosity to the popular understanding of nuclear weapons, which reveals a deep-rooted fear of nuclear weapons.“What fascinates about Godzilla seems to be this ambiguity: Godzilla is … Hibakusha, the victim, but also victimizer, destroying Tokyo,” Miyamoto said. “It’s the metaphor of Japan, but at the same time it’s the metaphor of the United States.”Miyamoto said the public must be responsible for challenging the national narratives that portray the aftermath of use of nuclear weapons as primarily a “Japanese experience” or atomic bombs as saviors which provided a swift end to the war.Miyamoto said general knowledge of nuclear weapons would help disband misconceptions construed by the media. She said the U.S. possesses 7,300 of the 16,300 nuclear bombs in existence today and the country has conducted far more nuclear tests than any of the other seven countries who have done nuclear weapon testing.“This should be relevant to our daily lives, but somehow we don’t know for sure,” Miyamoto said.Tags: Godzilla, lecture, nuclear weaponslast_img read more

Professor explains history, significance of Basilica stained glass

first_imgTuesday evening, theology professor John Cavadini explored the history and artistry of the stained glass windows in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. He spoke in the Andrews Auditorium of Geddes Hall as part of the University’s celebration of the 200th anniversary of Fr. Edward Sorin’s birth.Cavadini offered a theological and historical interpretation of information that he, his wife Nancy Cavadini and Cecilia Cunningham gathered. Cunningham, a former professor at Indiana University South Bend and Basilica tour guide, and Nancy Cavadini researched for a book together about the stained glass windows.Cavadini first discussed the history of the Basilica and how Sorin chose each piece of stained glass during the Basilica’s 13 years of construction. Sorin received the glass from a Carmelite monastery in France, which did its best work on the Basilica in attempt to expand into the North American market, he said. He encouraged the audience to meditate on the theological nature of light and how it relates to the glass.“The saints are those who, in Christ, are themselves light,” Cavadini said. “The light from light, incarnate in Christ.”Cavadini went on to link his thoughts on saints with Sorin’s “pedagogy” which could be found in the stained glass. All of the panels of stained glass depict the saints along with notable moments from their lives, he said, and each panel has an educational message for Notre Dame students.The stained glass panels along the nave of the Basilica include images of well-known saints such as Saints Patrick and Mary, the Mother of Jesus. There are also images of less-famous martyrs and some saints who did not actually exist, he said. However, Cavadini also said many of the panels are particularly indicative of Sorin’s pedagogy.Sorin almost equally combined the number of saints known for piety and contemplativeness with saints known for their great actions, Cavadini said. This pattern culminates towards the front of the Church with the juxtaposition of Mary Magdalene and Saint Martha, who brought Christianity to France.“[These images are] the union of action and contemplation, since Martha represents action and Mary represents contemplation,” Cavadini said. “So the life that Sorin wanted to uphold for the students that came into the Basilica was a life of action, a life of future leaders of all sorts, who were nevertheless dedicated to prayer and never lost their link with the contemplative life.”Cavadini said the stained glass in the transept at the front of the Basilica also held special significance. The east transept has a large window depicting a marvelous Pentecost scene, he said, while the west transept has a large window depicting the Dormition of the Virgin Mary.The window in the east depicts the beginning of the Church and is therefore illuminated by the sunrise, Cavadini said, while the window in the west is fittingly lit by the setting sun and reminds us of our ultimate destiny through the image of the end of Mary’s life on Earth. Cavadini said the transept is Sorin’s way of depicting the “pilgrim Church” on its journey from beginning to end.Cavadini said in conclusion that Sorin’s primary goal was to produce students who would become saints. He wanted Notre Dame to be a place that could educate young people to also be successful in their endeavors while achieving sainthood, he said.“Father Sorin asks us to imagine our lives not just as a career, but as a story, which God is writing with the light of his love,” Cavadini said. “And allow God to write that story, and you can then see the end of it.”Tags: Basilica of the Sacred Heart, John Cavadini, saints, stained glasslast_img read more

Club promotes sustainability with environmental festival

first_imgGreeND, in collaboration with several other campus and community groups centered around sustainable development, will host a Sustainability Festival on Friday featuring several activities and products in support of environmentalism and sustainability.“We’ve started thinking about this since our last festival in early October,” Abigail Veres, GreeND director of communcations, said in an email. “Over the past few months, Tessa [Clarizio, president of GreeND], the other leaders and I have spent nights abuzz with ideas to make this the best fair to date and we keep coming up with awesome ideas. I credit that to the amazingly thoughtful members of the club, who always think about ways to make Notre Dame a better place [by] thinking of others before themselves. We are so excited about the fest that we can barely think about anything else.”According to GreeND president Tessa Clarizio, the inaugural sustainability festival was held on campus last semester as part of an effort to take part of a national day dedicated to climate change called Know Tomorrow. The club hopes to hold a festival on campus once every semester.“When we first heard about Know Tomorrow, we had no idea what kind of event we wanted to put on, or even what Know Tomorrow was all about,” Veres said. “But we figured it out. It was a pretty big trial and error process, but it was so crazy successful — we bought materials for over 100 crafts and were out in the first 15 minutes – that we knew we had to do this again.”According to Clarizio and Veres, this year’s festival will include a farmer’s market, opportunities for students to get more involved in environmental advocacy and environmentally-themed crafts and games, including face painting, potting plants, handprint tree art, a Grab-n-Go giveaway, collages, chalk, bubbles, a photo booth, a scavenger hunt, an acoustic concert and food, clothing and jewelry vendors.“I hope it will inspire participants to incorporate sustainable choices in their everyday life,” Clarizio said. According to Veres, the festival is the result of the efforts of not only GreeND, but also several other clubs and community members, including the Sierra Club, ND Energy, Fossil Free ND, VegND, the Office of Sustainability, and the several vendors and performers who will be at the festival.“What we hope arises from this event is our sense of community, education and commitment to the earth and its inhabitants,” Veres said, “We are a network of passion, and we truly want everyone to feel that same love for the environment that we feel.”GreeND member Grace McNamee said the goal of the festival is to unite a variety of clubs on campus and bring local farmer’s markets together to celebrate Earth Day.“We want people to get involved in these clubs and be proactive on making this campus more sustainable,” McNamee said.“All are welcome,” Veres said. “It’s family-friendly, stay for a minute or the full two hours, and you don’t have to be a hippie to come. It’s open to every single person.”Tags: Earth Day, festival, GreeND, sustainabilitylast_img read more

NDSP chief discusses women in police force

first_imgShibata said women officers are capable of bringing a unique brand of compassion to the job that is incredibly helpful in daily interactions as an officer.“I’ve never been in a fight, because I’ve been able to talk people down,” Shibata said. “Having strong communication skills is essential. Women also don’t have an ego, needing to prove oneself, but rather, they try to solve the situation.“ … We do need women to be interested, and who want to be involved. Diversity helps us connect better with other people.”Having diversity on the force is crucial in some situations, Garcia-Betts said.“Sometimes, men may not be able to speak to women about domestic violence,” she said. “A woman may not feel safe talking to a male officer at that time.”Shibata recently had the honor of attending the National Association Women Law Enforcement Executive (NAWLEE) conference, where she was able to meet fellow female officers who inspired her, she said.“Most of them had to fight to be heard and respected,” Shibata said. “It made me feel very blessed for the experience that I’ve had and the people that have supported me. I’ve had a very positive experience and had the support of men and women within the department and throughout the University.”Shibata said the only limits to becoming a female law enforcement officer come from within.“Don’t be afraid to try to be the best, to beat the guys,” she said. “Don’t let your knowledge that you may be one of the few be an extra burden to you.” Tags: Equality, Keri Kei Shibata, NDSP, police force, women Saint Mary’s President Jan Cervelli and the Belles Against Violence Office (BAVO) hosted a panel of female former and current law enforcement officers Monday night to honor women in law enforcement and to welcome the newly appointed Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) Chief Keri Kei Shibata.Kathleen Donahue | The Observer Cervelli said she has been looking forward to hosting Shibata on campus.“Notre Dame made history,” she said. “I’m very proud as a South Bend native — Chief Shibata’s hire is historic both for the department and the South Bend region at large”Shibata is the first female and person of color to serve as the chief of NDSP, and she is currently the highest ranking member of NDSP. Before joining NDSP, Shibata received her bachelor’s degree in biblical literature from Bethel College. She then went on to receive an executive MBA from Notre Dame.In 2004, she began working at Notre Dame as one of the first members of the Residence Hall Security Squad. In later years, she has been responsible for the University’s 911 dispatch center, crime prevention, outreach, security, guest services, Clery Act reporting and training for Notre Dame’s Campus Safety Officers.To honor the women who have paved the way for female police officers today, Cervelli recalled a brief history of female officers in the U.S. Lola Baldwin became the first female police officer in the United States on April 1, 1908, Cervelli said. Six years later, South Bend hired Minnie Evans, the city’s first female officer. Today, only 14 percent of all police officers are female and 1 percent of all police chiefs are female, according to Cervelli.“The number of women serving as officers and police chiefs across the United States is still low,” Cervelli said. “So we’ve got work to do, girls. But that’s slowly changing.”Shibata said she came into law enforcement accidentally. She originally wanted to be a pastor and only applied for the Residence Hall Security Squad job to help pay her bills, she said.“I really loved it,” Shibata said. “I was in the Residence Hall Squad for a year and became a police officer the following summer.”Former dispatch coordinator for Mishawaka Char Monges said she too came into law enforcement by accident. She had been looking for a job and came across an ad in search of a record communications clerk, she said.“It was a life-changing event,” Monges said. “The thing from the very first day until now that has carried me through this career is it’s different every single day — I’m always learning something.”Investigator Crystal Garcia-Betts said there were only five female officers out of 118 total officers on the force when she was first hired as an officer in Elkhart. Because being a female officer was uncommon at the time, the women had to prove they were capable to the male officers, she said.“Until you had an incident where the other guys would say, ‘She’s all right,’ we weren’t accepted,” Garcia-Betts said. “Today they’re accepted. You come on and you’re an officer — that’s all you have to say.”Lieutenant Laurie Steffen, a midnight shift patrol supervisor, said she became an officer right out of high school, despite her father not being supportive of her decision. She recommends that if any women are interested in the field, they should find a mentor.“Just have a good mentor in place,” she said. “If it’s something you want, then follow that dream, because it is worth following.”last_img read more

Centre College associate vice president explores diversity, inclusion

first_imgDr. Rodmon King, associate vice president of academic affairs and diversity initiatives at Centre College, spoke Tuesday at Saint Mary’s about diversity and inclusion.King began his presentation by discussing the importance of language. He said it is necessary that we have an understanding of the words we use while discussing diversity. “I think a lot about the indeterminacy of language, the ways in which I can say things.” he said. “When we talk about diversity I get worried that we fall into things like a fallacy of equivocation where we have sliding definitions. We use language in ways without having really thought about the meaning of the words that we’re using.”On the surface, King said, we may have a shared meaning of common words, but if we really dig down — we could have completely different conceptions of the same words. “When it comes to diversity we have an even greater problem,” he said. “There’s all kinds of things people think of when they think about the concept of diversity … institutionally it is important because if you’re not working with the same sort of conceptual framework in the upper administration as you are up and down the administrative latter, you will have a lot of motion but no progress.”King said diversity is not only about the variety of people in a group, but it is about the support those different groups receive. “Diversity is not about demographics, you can have all of these people and not get inclusion and support,” he said. “It’s not enough to open the doors of an institution without supplying networks of support.”Creating institutions that support diversity and inclusion is not an easy thing to do, King said.“It’s a tough, nuanced, danced, subtle thing to preserve elements of history and culture while still being innovative,” he said. In order to make the best decisions for any institution King said, there cannot be a room of like-minded thinkers. “You need to bring together people with a variety of different perspectives.” he said. “The worst way to make decisions is to get a homogeneous group or a set of like-thinkers together. Give them a task and they will not be as successful as a heterogeneous set of people.”King said in college institutions there seems to be a disconnect between the mission statement and the actual practice of supporting diversity on campus.“If you were to go over to HR and sit down and look at everyone’s job description, where would that part of the mission be clearly articulated as part of your job as a faculty member or a staff member? If [the mission] is going to part of the lived reality of community members, that is something that has to be addressed,” King said. King said change is not something that just happens and that no one has all the answers. But thinking about diversity in your part of the process can begin the change to inclusion.“It is more like battling an addiction to bias and privilege. Change may require us to do some difficult things, it my require and push upon our time in some ways, it may require us to shake up practices that have lasted for a long time,” he said.  “Think about your institutional structure because you’re all part of the institution. How are its processes set up intentionally and thoughtfully to address some of the deep things that are going to be barriers to success of diversity and inclusion?” Tags: Centre College, Diveristy, Rodmon Kinglast_img read more

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