Marquette Wire

Students of Color coalition demands list of changes at Marquette

The Marquette University seal

The Marquette University seal

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The Ad Hoc Coalition of and for Students of Color is using a list of 10 demands to pressure the university to implement faster change that will make minority students feel more comfortable on campus.

The demands were brought to University President Michael Lovell a few weeks ago and they are also online in a petition format. The coalition is a group of around 30 to 40 students who formed in November 2014.

Joseph Martinez, co-founder of the coalition and senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said the only progress made on the demands so far is the creation of the President’s Task Force on Equity and Inclusion, which had its first meeting in February.

“So in terms of actions, nothing has been done besides that creation of the task force, which is problematic because we want action to be taken,” Martinez said. “Discussion is good, but if it ends at just simply dialogue then we can expect that nothing will change and things will continue as they are.”

One of the demands calls for the university seal to be re-cropped to not depict what the coalition sees as a biased view of Marquette’s initial relation with indigenous peoples.

“The goal for the list of demands is that all students that go to Marquette University can feel comfortable and included,” Martinez said. “And have the university maintain that open mind and that open to dialogue-, open to different ideas-type of mentality.”

University spokesman Brian Dorrington said the university focused intensively on diversity and inclusion efforts over the past year.

“The task force was created directly in response to many conversations with diverse student leaders,” Dorrington said in an email. “We will continue our commitment to create a diverse university community, which will help us to achieve excellence by promoting a culture of learning, appreciation and understanding.”

However, Martinez and Victoria Gokee-Rindal, secretary of the coalition and sophomore in the College of Health Sciences, said they aren’t getting much action from the university. Martinez said the university’s Board of Trustees are surprised at how big of an issue diversity is on campus, which she sees as a sign of disconnect between administration and student body.

“We deserve the same treatment,” Gokee-Rindal said. “We’re students here and we pay the same amount of money and we’re getting the same exact rigorous education and it’s hard.”

Joshua-Paul Miles, coordinator of the Marquette Student Government on Diversity and Inclusion subcommittee and freshman in the College of Communication, said the demands are definitely doable. He said he is supportive of the coalition and really invested in making students more comfortable on campus.

“Our job is to create initiatives that allow students of color and diverse backgrounds – so LGBTQ students, students of color, religious diversity, everything – allow those students that don’t really feel like they have a voice on campus, to have voices,” Miles said.

The subcommittee was created because students felt MUSG wasn’t aware of diversity issues on campus. One thing the committee is working on introducing soon is Coffee with a Cop, a chance for students to meet with police officers once a month to discuss their discrepancies.

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