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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Room for questions

Office of Inclusion and Diversity holds town hall

The Office of Inclusion and Diversity held a town hall meeting on Feb. 2, where Saint Joseph’s University students asked about what the university is doing for inclusion and diversity on Hawk Hill and for the community within it.

The meeting started with prepared questions asked by students which were then answered by university President Mark C. Reed Ed.D., Jeanne F. Brady, Ph.D., provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, Cary Anderson, Ed.D., vice president for Student Life and Associate Provost, and Monica Nixon Ed.D assistant provost for inclusion and diversity.

The first question asked was for Brady and focused on how the university will better pledge itself to the international student body so they can feel safe and supported on our campus.

“I do want to say that it is most critical to maintain the privacy, dignity, and safety of our community, particularly our students, so they can pursue an education in an environment that nurtures and protects them,” Brady said. “We will have this as a simple institutional and educational mandate.”

Reed was asked about underrepresented students, financial aid, and what St. Joe’s is doing to assure that they understand “the realities of navigating a predominantly homogeneous space.”

“In terms of our outreach to underrepresented students, it is certainly important to understand what we do in our current efforts,” Reed said. “We have, for example, a dedicated director of multicultural admission, whose sole responsibility really is to reach out to underrepresented students.”

Student organizers Alim Young ’19, Will Marsh ’18, Mary Brigh ’17, and Sydney Villard ’19 pose with panelists (Photo by W. Taicha Morin ’20).

Nixon was asked how we can connect with St. Joe’s alumni who may not understand the center for inclusion and diversity and who we can explain the importance of having a center in the community.

Nixon said that she wants the different kinds of alumni that St. Joe’s has to be involved and understand what inclusion and diversity means to St. Joe’s.

“If we are able to let them know about the good work that is happening, we will be able to bring them back in,” Nixon said.

The last question was for Anderson asking about how students who identify as women and have St. Joe’s insurance will be protected.

“I received a resolution from the Student Senate and the resolution was encouraging St. Joe’s to reassess and improve sexual and health resources on campus,” Anderson said. “The highlights of this are to reevaluate what we do in terms of the best interest of our students, the mission and ideals of our university, and how we look at equal opportunity and non-discrimination and mandates of the state and federal governments.”

After the general questions, attendees then broke off into groups where they could ask the panelists questions directly. “I personally really liked it. It was really nice being able to talk to the administrators that were there in such a personal way,” Hanna Neece, ’19, said.

Neece asked Anderson what St. Joe’s was going to do about more inclusive housing spaces and how they plan on constructing buildings for that in the future. Anderson said that it is possible to have more inclusive housing on campus, but there is not a lot of space on our campus and that this is a small community, which may make it more difficult.

“I really liked how engaged the panelists were with all the students,” Neece said. “It was really nice to see that because sometimes it seems like these people make decisions about the school that are so far out of our control ,and it was really nice to be able to sit with them and talk to them about these decisions.”

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