Students occupy the Diversity Center

Brooklyn Raines | Staff Reporter

 

Butler University students made time in between classes and occupied the  Efroymson Diversity Center on Sept. 21 and 22 as a way to potentially meet the candidates interviewing for the newly appointed position of vice president of human resources, diversity and wellness.

The purpose of the sit-in was to allow students to learn more about the new position and talk to candidates before and after their interviews.

Even though it was sophomore elementary education major Elisha Wright’s first year being actively involved with the DC, she decided to sit in as a way to show her appreciation for the center and what it means to her.

“Since being here I’ve met a lot more people I could relate to on a cultural basis,” Wright said. “Whereas last year, I didn’t really have that exposure as I’m a minority at this university. So I’m at this sit in to basically make sure this space can be preserved and so I can continue to build experiences with people that I have shared past experiences with.”

The candidate hired will be the leader of the Butler HR department and will report to President James Danko. The individual will also be responsible for developing a diversity and wellness strategy for Butler and assuring the effective execution for faculty, students and staff.

The new position will be responsible for making sure diversity incentives are carried out and will have a large role in what diversity at Butler will look like.

Demia is the feminist and social justice organization at Butler. Vice President Anna Doloso, a junior elementary education major, participated in the sit in Tuesday. Via email to The Collegian, Doloso expressed her disappointment at the fact the that candidates did not engage with the students.

“They didn’t talk to anyone until a student said something to them, which I found odd,” Doloso said. “I would’ve hoped the person would’ve asked us what we wanted as an organization in the DC from them.”

Doloso said she would like to see more diversity on campus and believes a more diverse campus would help students be more accepting of others. She said she also hopes whoever fills the position will help diversify Butler, but she said she will not be confident until she sees it for herself.

Like Doloso, junior Tabitha Barbour, president of the Black Student Union, said it troubles her that the interview process involved very little student input. Barbour said she hopes the new vice president role will help Butler become a more diverse university and a university where diversity is appreciated.

Barbour would like to see more people view diversity at Butler on a more serious note.

“For me, diversity at Butler looks like a selling point for the University,” Barbour said. “They sell it as a state of being, but really it is a desire, a thing that is really hoped for. I can’t say that Butler is diverse, I can’t say that Butler is inclusive and I can’t say Butler wants to be, but I can say there are people at Butler that want it to be actually diverse and inclusive, but we aren’t there yet.”

Ultimately, Danko will make the decision on who will fill the position, likely by the end of the year.

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