Friday, April 24, 2009

Response: April 24, 2009

We were sent an email from Josh Casper, the Ombudsman we have been in communication with, saying he'd been asked if we would be willing to post the the following announcement for a Students of Color meeting to our blog. Since we have been told it is a public announcement that has been sent to the peer advisers to distribute on the dance and theater list serves, we consider it an official university (but not dance program-driven) response, and publish it here as such.

To Students of Color in the Dance Program:

The Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence (MCAE) has been following with interest the “This” protest and its multifaceted range of issues. MCAE is prepared to assist in any constructive way.

We write today to offer a service stemming from one of the issues raised in the second open letter. In the letter it states, “Students of Color and other minority identities should be acknowledged as having to deal with a continual additional burden of being a minority in an unsafe system, and should be provided space where they can safely speak about their experiences, without the burden of assuaging anyone’s guilt, or educating anyone’s ignorance, or being held responsible for generating solutions.”

We would like to provide a space for students to speak to what has been occurring, their experiences, etc. An MCAE staff member will be facilitating a discussion for students of color on Tuesday, April 28th at 3:45 p.m. in 215 Blegen Hall. We know that not all students of color will be able to meet during this time and would be open to identifying additional opportunities if needed.

The meeting isn’t about MCAE supporting or not supporting the protesters. We are aware that some students of color are supportive of the protest and others are not. Instead, this meeting is about creating a space for students of color to talk about their experiences on a predominately white campus. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to direct those to Josh Casper at