Hoping to gain an official statement of support, the week-old Coalition for Diversity will meet with President Neil L. Rudenstine later today to discuss their demands which include improved curricular and faculty diversity and the possibility of a multicultural center.
About 15 coalition representatives will attend the meeting this evening, the first face-to-face talk with an administrator since the coalition issued its demands in the flyer titled "Peculiar Institution," a little over a week ago.
The representatives will discuss the University's insufficient response to allegedly racist comments by Thomson Professor of Government Harvey C. Mansfield and ways of improving faculty and curricular diversity, according to Richard Garcia, the coalition's spokesperson.
Garcia also said the coalition will ask for a town meeting to discuss faculty and curricular diversity. They will also lobby Rudenstine to explore the possibilities of creating a multi-cultural center and better coordinating the University administration's initiatives on race relations. The coalition also hopes to set up a direct line of communication with the administration, Garcia said.
"It would be naive of us to say we're going to meet with Rudenstine and things will be resolved," said Garcia, who is also co-president of Raza, the Mexican-American students organization. "We want to talk to him personally to see how much he agrees with us."
The coalition hopes to enlist Rudenstine's support before meetings with Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education Lawrence Buell on Wednesday and Assistant Dean of Students Ellen Hatfield Towne next week.
Dean of the Faculty Jeremy R. Knowles has also indicated that he would be willing to speak with the coalition, according to Garcia.
Garcia said the coalition is "not just a bunch of Militant leaders," but that its members are determined to see that their grievances are resolved. The political leverage of the coalition and its large membership should force the administration to respond to the demands, Garcia said.
"This is not just the Black Students Association talking to Rudenstine," Garcia said. "This is not just Raza with its 200 Latino students on campus talking to Rudenstine. This is the coalition that represents a large part of the campus."
The coalition first mobilized two weeks ago to protest the lack of minority representation on a Junior Parents' Weekend. The coalition currently represents nine campus minority organizations, and coalition members said other organizations are expected to join