Diversity committee unveils new initiatives

Nicole Celli

After former Director of Multicultural Affairs Tyrone Black departed from Quinnipiac on Feb. 25, 2009, not much has been heard from the Office of Multicultural Affairs, and students have taken notice.

“I am passionate about filling vacant positions in Multicultural Affairs…since Tyrone Black left, we have been kind of struggling,” Vice President of Student Concerns candidate Nick Rossetti said during the Student Government debates on Sunday.

Mark Thompson, senior vice president for academic and student affairs, and the Diversity Advisory Committee (DAC) are solving this problem by implementing two administrative positions to advance diversity initiatives on campus.

“It’s a huge victory for students working with administration and really getting what they want from Quinnipiac,” Student Government Association president Louis Venturelli said.

The Director of Student Diversity Programs’ responsibilities will include assisting staff members throughout the University with the development of their diversity initiatives, serving as advisor to Campus Multicultural Programming Board, and organizing a student group that is representative of the community to promote diversity initiatives.  The director works in collaboration with organizations under the Student Government and the Office of Student Affairs.

“The director is more related to ensure that student needs are being addressed,” Thompson said.

The Associate Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer will be supervising and coordinating activities of the Albert Schweitzer Institute and the Office of International Education.  They will be working collaboratively with the offices of Student Affairs, Residential Life, Community Service, Student Activities, Admissions and the Learning Center.

“The second position is focusing exclusively on student needs, in terms of assisting with student programming, working with student government, and working with residential life and student affairs in a way to ensure that students are part of the process,” Thompson said.

The Associate Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer will also be teaching curriculum courses.

“It would give them an opportunity to stay in touch with the students – we thought that was a pretty integral and important role for that position,” Venturelli said.

The search is starting now for both positions, which will be appointed July 1 at the start of the new budget year.