"Desegregating Diversity: From Myth to Mandate": Consequences and Questions
Friday, December 3rd, 2010
The 65-page report is not revelatory in its message; the lack of organizational support for LGBTQI students and faculty, as well as those of color at The New School has been apparent to many who’ve taken a good look at the services — or lack thereof — that the university provides. But the report’s release is important because it aims to bring about a community-wide discussion on these problems pertaining to social justice and hopefully draw enough attention and interest that positive change actually does occur on these matters.
Make no mistake: The USS isn’t trying to position itself against the administration. They don’t want to appear as some rogue body that’s just trying to screw the bigwigs up top with this leak. Their motives stem from the fact that they think this report can dramatically change not only The New School, but higher education as a whole in this country. It directly challenges the institution on a “lack of tenured and tenure-track faculty of color,” “absence of senior leadership of color throughout the university,” and the “very limited resources dedicated to planning, coordination, evaluation and oversight of current ‘diversity’ efforts.” Student Senator Chris Crews told me in an interview after the report’s release that he was shocked to come to The New School for Social Research for his graduate studies after completing undergraduate studies at a small university in Ohio, and find that his tiny school in Appalachia had more services available to the LGBTQI community than we do at The New School.
That’s why the USS leaked the report last week, and why they held the town hall: to spark the discussion at the university about what it can do to ensure that in the future it provides an academic environment that promotes an atmosphere of social equity for all its students.
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