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Winter 01
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Student voices from undergraduate newspapers: University of MarylandWilliams CollegeBrandeis UniversityHarvard University
News clips from: CaliforniaTexasMassachusettsPennsylvaniaWashington, DC

Making Diversity News

Student Voices From Undergraduate Newspapers: University of Maryland

"The University System of Maryland is currently considering affording domestic partner benefits as well. This change would be the best way to accommodate staff and faculty who can't legally check the "married" box as the most effective compensation for the government's neglect in human rights. We hope this trend will catch on at more universities and colleges in years to come, before national laws can be enacted."

Staff Editorial
The Diamondback, 05-02-02
University of Maryland

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Student Voices From Undergraduate Newspapers: Williams College

"Rory Kramer '03, Minority Coalition co-coordinator, then offered a student perspective on the issues that created the impetus for the conference. 'It's wonderful to see that the institution is traveling along the right path, [but] to be completely blunt, we're moving at a snail's pace, and outside forces make it critical that we pick up that pace,' he said. Kramer suggested that more aggressive recruiting of faculty of color and spending more resources to improve minority faculty retention rates as solutions. 'Failing should not be an option, especially not on this,' he said."

The Williams Record, April 30, 2002
Williams College
Williamstown, MA

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Student Voices From Undergraduate Newspapers: Brandeis University

"'There are a lot of misunderstandings about Islamic women and how Islam treats them. We showed a documentary about these misconceptions and what the reality actually is,' Mohammad Ashraf, Brandeis University '04 said.
On Thursday, a documentary on women in Islam by Leila Ahmed, professor of Women's Studies in Religion at Harvard Divinity School, was shown to students at Brandeis University. The film addresses the many misconceptions about Islamic women and their treatment at home. Three female Muslim students at Brandeis spoke about the differences of being Muslim in their homeland compared to in the United States, as well as other topics on this controversial subject."

Matthew Bettinger
The Justice, 4-30-02
Brandeis University

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Student Voices From Undergraduate Newspapers: Harvard University

"On Monday, students from the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations distributed a 'Diversity Package' to University President Lawrence H. Summers and Dean of Faculty of Arts and Sciences Jeremy R. Knowles, among others. The package presents a four-point initiative aimed at promoting diversity on campus. These recommendations should be adopted by the University as positive, feasible steps towards integrating meaningful diversity programs into campus life--and also as the prelude to an ethnic studies department."

Editorial Staff
The Crimson, 05-03-02
Harvard University

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Media Watch News Clips


A study conducted by the "Orange County Register" shows that nearly all of the 108 California community colleges are failing to comply with Title IX. Although women comprise approximately 56 percent of the student population, women's athletics are only receiving 36 cents to every athletic dollar. Federal legislation that forbids sex discrimination, Title IX requires colleges to fund their women's athletic programs in proportion to their enrollment of women full-time students. The California branch of the National Organization for Women plans to file a formal complaint with the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights against those schools out of compliance. In the past 10 years, the Office of Civil Rights has investigated several California community colleges. According to documents obtained by the "Orange County Register," compliance for most of these schools again regressed once the investigations were closed.

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University of Houston, the most diverse research university campus in the nation, continues to increase its minority enrollment and graduation numbers. In fall 2001, over 50% of the enrolling students were minorities. The breakdown was as follows: 41.2% Anglo, 18% Asian/Pacific Islander, 17.5% Hispanic, 13.5% African American, 7.4% International, 1% Native American. Additionally data from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board from 1990-1999 shows that the University of Houston leads the state in increasing the award of bachelor's degrees to Hispanic and African American students. A large percentage of students at University of Houston are older, part-time, and otherwise non-traditional students, which further enhances the diversity of the school's student body.

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In 1997, Shamshad Sheikh was hired to become the part-time Chaplain to the College and Advisor to the Muslim community at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. In the period following September 11, Mt. Holyoke recognized Sheikh with full-time status in recognition of all the hours she spent working with students and parents after the tragedy. Chaplain Sheikh is the one of the only Muslim chaplains in the Northeast, and she also services students at schools participating in a five-college program with Mount Holyoke.

Very few colleges have Muslim chaplains, and typically they serve only in a part-time or even in a volunteer capacity. Now, however, colleges begin to realize the demand for Muslim spiritual advisors from their students. "It's a wonderful link for students to have an advisor who feels like family and can help them talk about and resolve problems," says Sheik. Additionally, Mount Holyoke has recently started a Kosher Hillel dining service for Jewish and Muslim students with dietary restrictions. On this new service Sheik comments, "These students are our future leaders, and it's wonderful to watch them develop relationships and building a sense of community."

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A Pennsylvania State University study finds that public policy to help low-income students succeed in college must include not only financial aid but also a full array of student needs starting in elementary school. The study, "Swimming Against the Tide: The Poor in American Higher Education," was conducted by Patrick T. Terenzini, Alberto F. Cabrera, and Elena M. Bernal. Terenzini says, "In the 8th grade, the desire to go to college is about as high among low-income students as among their affluent classmates. Whereas nearly all of the latter will realize their aspirations, only about two-thirds of the former will do so." The report is published by the College Entrance Examination board and is available on-line (http://www.collegeboard. com/research/ html/RDReport2001_1.pdf).

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Washington, DC

Under President George Bush's requested education budget, funding for Historically Black Institutions and Hispanic-Serving Institutions will rise by about $12 million, to $350 million. Historically Black Colleges & Universities, Historically Black Graduate Institutions and Hispanic-Serving Institutions will benefit from the proposed increase in funding. Bush's plan pledges to increase funding for these institutions by 30% by 2005 in an effort to increase the number of minority students who enter and graduate from college. In a recent radio address, Bush also pledged to ask Congress for an additional $1 billion to help states meet the needs of their disabled students.

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