No quotas in PAce/MLK DAy Classes Discussing Race

Although placement of students into MLK Day workshops is primarily dependent on student-choice, dorm mates may be separated. Linda Griffith, Dean of Community and Multicultural Development said that she splits up dorms so that students have an opportunity to interact with people that they do not regularly talk with. “The bigger issue for me is dormitories [as opposed to diversity in race], because they come as a pack. That’s the aspect, if any, that we control,” said Griffith. “If somebody signs up for a show [or] performance, it doesn’t matter who’s in there,” said Griffith. Griffith said the MLK Day workshops tend to be “largely self-selecting.” For example, Griffith recalled a workshop about masculinity in hip-hop videos. According to her, almost all the students who listed this workshop as one of their top preferences were male. Carlos Hoyt, Associate Dean of Students and Director of PACE, said that similarly there are no “diversity quotas” in dividing PACE classes. Hoyt added that diversity is not skin-deep, trying to ensure “diverse” PACE classes using only racial tags from a check in a box, or based on assumptions about names, would not assure real diversity of opinions in the classes. However, Gloria Odusote ’09 noticed a potential benefit of racially designated quotas in classes like PACE or in MLK Day workshops. “When I’m the only black person in a group talking about black rights, everyone looks at me for confirmation before they say anything,” she said. “If there are even two black people, that makes me happy because it divides the stares.” Hoyt said that in some situations, diversity quotas can be beneficial. “In a community that doesn’t have the great benefit of the natural pluralism we have here, I think it’s reasonable… that some practitioners of diversity training will make efforts to achieve whatever … variety of representation they can. But we have that mostly built-in here, so we have no need for quotas,” said Hoyt. Lane Lytle ’11 agreed, “I think [my PACE class is] really diverse. There are a lot of people in my class who I don’t really know very well, so it’s good that I have an opportunity to interact with them.” Kelly Powers ’11 added, “I’d say physically, [my class is] diverse, but we also share a lot of opinions.” Michaeljit Sandhu ’09, a student co-teacher for PACE, said that his class is diverse “…economically, racially, with regard to their views of the world. The more I think about it, the more I think it’s true.”