Over the delicacies of a Mather House brunch, representatives of various racial and ethnic student organizations met together yesterday afternoon for the annual Presidents' Brunch arranged by the Minority Students' Alliance (MSA).
The MSA serves as an intermediary between cultural organizations on campus to help them address common concerns, according to Co-Chair Tara L. Carr '99.
Yesterday, representatives of about 15 organizations ranging from the Irish Students Association to the Carribean Club discussed a topics including minority hiring in the Faculty and the creation of a multicultural student center.
"We want to make sure that the ethnic groups on campus are working in synch and on the same wavelength," said MSA Secretary Sujit M. Raman '00.
In particular, the MSA encourages campus ethnic groups to coordinate study breaks, discussions, foodfests, dances and other such activities that foster unity while maintaining cultural identity.
Coordinator Jobe G. Danganan '99 introduced the meeting by stating that the MSA hopes to "counteract self-segregation of groups and promote alliance and unity."
Among the other issues discussed were the upcoming events of the MSA, including an affirmative action debate on Nov. 3, the Interethnic Day of Service on November 11 and an interethnic food-fest on Dec. 6.
Additionally, the leaders of the assembled ethnic organizations also shared their opinions on a number of volatile topics such as hiring minority faculty. Representatives from the Undergraduate Council were present to consider their perspectives.
A representative from the Faculty Diversity Task Force, which is affiliated with the council, appealed to the club representatives to encourage their members to participate in the continuing effort to increase the number of minority faculty members.
Also introduced at the meeting was the proposition of establishing a multicultural student center in order to create a common place that would serve to facilitate the coordination of events of the multicultural organizations, many of which currently have no office space other than Loker Commons.
"We really want to be outspoken this year [and] revive the Minority Students Association," Danganan said. The organization was founded in the early '80s.
"There are many social and political issues at stake," he said. "And the Minority Students Association, being a conglomerate of ethnic groups of campus, proves that multi-cultural harmony is possible."