As a participant of the African American Catholic Leadership Development Seminar, I think that the seminar was a valuable recruiting tool for the University. If I was not invited to attend the seminar I would have never even thought of applying to a school in Indiana.
I was slightly appalled at the statement made stating “seminar participants seemed largely unaware of any controversy over race or ethnicity-based preferences in college admissions.” We are largely AWARE of the controversy and many of us who are multicultural such as Anna Mazig and myself feel that having diversity in a school environment allows students to have a better understanding of the world.
Mr.Cohen states that in surveys, the graduating seniors consistently said they wished the student body were more diverse. Why weren’t the students asked who would have been willing give up his/her spot at Notre Dame to allow this wish to happen?
This was a very honest and it seems accurate assessment of the way the student body is formed each year at ND. However, if it is true that a more diversified student body benefits students and offers a better end product, then how can the Board of Trustees commitment to preserving the University’s Catholic Character by enrolling such a huge percentage of Catholic students not work against this diversified ideal? Doesn’t there seem to exist today a deficit of understanding with regard to faiths other than our own in this country and indeed the world that might be reduced were young people to live, work and study together in an environment where different faiths are respected and well represented?
Kevin P. Morrissey ’86
I’m impressed that the University printed this article and the article by Marc Conklin, ’91 (“What I learned at Notre Dame about the Value of Diversity”) in the same issue. These topics are often very difficult to address, but by creating a constant and consistent dialogue we can all come to a better understanding and appreciation of the many efforts that work to improve our campus climate, our student experience and our alumni experience.
Jose Gonzalez, ’91
*This article served *to clearly and honestly address the many obstacles that Notre Dame faces in their view of an ideal college community. Unless the administration begins to value a diverse student body as a benefit for students who attend the university, simply attracting numbers or percentages will not change the culture of the school. The irony in reading this article was that the language and facts provided did little but negate the proposed goals of the university.
Scott Kmack ’02