University of Minnesota’s reaction to students gathering over diversity

Diversity is important — and we’re listening. (MPR Photo / Alex Friedrich)

University of Minnesota spokesman Chuck Tombarge had this to say late yesterday afternoon about the dozen or so students who gathered in front of Morrill Hall to voice concerns over diversity at the U:

Since late January, several members of the senior leadership team (from both the Office of Student Affairs and the Office for Equity and Diversity) have asked to meet with the student collective to discuss their concerns. To date, the group has not responded. 

Today, Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Danita Brown Young, Vice President for Equity and Diversity Katrice Albert and Assistant Vice President for Equity and Diversity Shakeer Abdullah met with the students outside Morrill Hall for about an hour and heard their requests. The students then visited the President’s Office, where Chief of Staff Amy Phenix talked with them and accepted their materials on behalf of the president. Phenix iterated President Kaler’s strong commitment to diversity, offered to schedule a meeting with the president and thanked them for wanting to make the U better.

President Kaler and other U leaders are reviewing their concerns and will respond.

Tombarge also said the group is not formally recognized by the university and does not receive funding through student fees.