Epps House Program Aimed At Improving Race Relations

Plan to Enable Discussion of Race, Gender, Religion

Dean of Students Archie C. Epps III has created a program for the houses to enable students and faculty to discuss issues of race, gender and religion as part of his campaign to improve race relations at the College.

Epps plans to implement the program in Mather House and Currier House in the spring, he said in an interview this week.

"I think it is a great idea," said Min Ku, a resident tutor in Currier House. "I am sure it will help student relations in the house."

Epps said the idea stems from another program, introduced in September, in which faculty members attend first-year proctor meetings to discuss race-related issues.

Epps stressed that the status of race relations was not a factor in selecting houses for the experiment.


"These houses were chosen for positive reasons," Epps said. "There was a commitment and an interest in doing the program and an availability of faculty resources."

The purpose of the program is to relate issues of race with other campus concerns. Tutors at Mather House have decided to combine discussions of race, ethnicity and gender.

One proposal in Mather is screening films which relate to racial and gender issues, including "Jungle Fever" and "The Philadelphia Story." Other suggested events include lectures by visiting faculty, such as filmmaker Spike Lee and author Jamaica Kincaid.

In Currier House, tutors plan joint discussions of race and religious pluralism. Tentative plans include panel discussions on topics such as multiculturalism versus cultural identity, and interracial relations and dating.

"[Religious pluralism] is an important issue," Ku said. "The presence of many religions oftenleads to misunderstandings."

Next year, tutors are thinking of implementinga house seminar on issues of race and religiouspluralism

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