MUSG welcomes Multicultural Affairs’ diversity message

Marquette Student Government saw a presentation on diversity from Multicultural Affairs by Carla Cadet, assistant dean of Multicultural Affairs, and John Janulis, interim coordinator for Multicultural Affairs, last Thursday.

Cadet and Janulis discussed their current vision statement and goals in addition to their desire to address the varied experiences students may have.

Multicultural Affairs assists students and creates programming on underrepresented and first-generation students, race, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation. Janulis noted that those categories aren’t mutually exclusive.

“We need to understand that those communities may overlap,” Janulis said. “We need to develop a sense of how each person’s experiences are different and unique.”

Cadet said they also focus on shaping students as leaders.

“How do we build an inclusive community?” she asked. “How are we equipping students with the competence and skills to do that?”

Janulis said Multicultural Affairs is developing a bias incident reporting system, a tracking measure of harassment which students may experience as a result of their social identity.

“Having this information will allow us to see the deficits and address those deficits through programming and services,” he said.

Multicultural Affairs is also going to partner with the Office of International Education to enrich the experiences of international students, Cadet said. She said the goal is both to look at students being global citizens and to seek other opportunities for international education and involvement.

Cadet acknowledged the increased numbers of diverse students in Marquette’s freshman class but said Multicultural Affairs looks to enrich the experiences of students once they are at Marquette.

Janulis said it goes back to student experience and said they are looking at new ways to create programming.

“Accountability is incumbent upon us as a community to ground programming into what students are experiencing, because some students are silenced,” he said.

Multicultural Affairs is looking to improve student experience, Cadet said, through a mentorship program in conjunction with the Alumni Association and the Ethnic Alumni Association. It is looking to establish an advisory board on the Diverse Cultures component of classes comprised of faculty to help inform the classroom and how Multicultural Affairs can play a role.

Janulis said the work goes beyond his and Cadet’s efforts.

“It’s not just a Multicultural Affairs or MUSG thing,” he said. “It’s a Marquette thing.”