Officials seek student input on committees examining diversity measures

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Caroline Laguerre-Brown, the vice president for diversity, equity and community engagement, said students, faculty and staff will serve on the committees and will begin meeting in the "next few weeks."

Officials are seeking student input as they implement new diversity measures.

Last week, students who attended a town hall addressing racism and diversity on campus received an email from administrators asking them to apply to be a member of a “diversity and inclusion project team.”

The teams will examine ways to implement several of the key diversity measures the University announced in the wake of a racist Snapchat post last month. Each of the six committees will focus on a key measure including diversity training, a bias incident reporting system and encouraging more on-campus housing for multicultural Greek organizations.

Officials said student input on the teams will make sure student interests are represented as the University tries to improve the campus racial climate and address the outrage that followed last month’s post.

“We recognize and respect that as students, your first commitment must be to your schoolwork, so the heavy lifting for the work of these teams will be led by staff members,” the email read. “However, student voices are essential to ensuring that GW’s actions best reflect students’ ideas, interests and perspectives.”

Caroline Laguerre-Brown, the vice president for diversity, equity and community engagement, who also sent the email to students last week, said students, faculty and staff will serve on the committees and begin meeting in the “next few weeks.”

“In recent weeks, the climate of race on campus has become more prominent and has been discussed by the larger community,” Laguerre-Brown said in an email. “Students, faculty and staff all bring a different story and unique experiences to the table, and we want to make sure that these voices are able to play a role in changing the campus community.”

She said officials are still evaluating how many students will be asked to participate on the teams. Each student who wants to participate must fill out a Google form asking what project team they are most interested in and why they want to be a part of this effort.

Laguerre-Brown said the administrators will review each application to appropriately place members within each committee and that once the teams are selected, members will be tasked with “identifying meeting times and determining the best course of action for implementation, while also setting goals for the group.”

“Students’ ideas and perspectives are critical to ensure that programs and policies are put in place that will improve the student experience and ensure that GW becomes a more inclusive place for everyone,” she said.

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