CPA summit to assess diversity

Butler University is holding its first diversity summit at 11:30 a.m. Friday in the Ford Salon at Robertson Hall.

The event, cosponsored by R.E.A.C.H. and Council on Presidential Affairs, will seek to explain the definition of diversity, discuss how diversity will fit into plans for Butler’s future and develop an assessment of the current state of diversity at Butler.

CPA Chair Mike Tirman said this event will be important for the future of Butler.

“For us to take on a more prominent national role, diversity’s going to play a big part in that for Butler,” Tirman said.

Tirman said he hopes to be able to provide the Campus Climate Advisory Committee with a list of goals and ideas that came from students who attend the event. Tirman said he thought the inclusion of a question about a students’ sexual orientation could be one such idea.

Mike Keller, the Student Government Association President-elect who has been invited to the event, said he understands the benefits that people could see coming from such a question but would caution against such an idea.

“I always think we do better when we try not to categorize people as much,” Keller said. “I think that…helps us build a more integrated and better community.”

Keller said he’s looking forward to listening to people with different perspectives of Butler.

“Sometimes people are just ignorant to the diverse issues, but I think that’s OK,” UnoBlessed Coons, the SGA vice president of diversity programming, said. “This is where you should be learning about those things— college.”

Coons said the summit is important, because the open forum provides students with different perspectives.

“I think that [the open forum] is the most important part,” Meg Haggerty, the associate director of student affairs, said. “You can’t come to a table with only one perspective. You have to be able to see it from multiple different angles.”

Haggerty said she will be attending because of her role as adviser to the Campus Climate Advisory Committee.

The event will include students and faculty who have been invited because of their involvement in relevant student organizations or because of their known ability to contribute to the conversation.

Students who have not been invited can contact Tirman or Coons to secure a place at the event.

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