January 24, 2018

Cornell Launches New Diversity Website, Student Leaders Claim They Were Not Informed

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With a vision statement of “Open Doors, Open Hearts, Open Minds,” the University’s newly launched Diversity and Inclusion website offers a comprehensive list of resources concerning diversity on campus. However, some student leaders active in promoting diversity on campus say they were not informed of this new development.

“I was not aware of this new resource and neither were the people I have spoken to,” said Ian Wallace ’20, the LGBTQ+ Liaison At-Large for the Student Assembly. “The University will definitely have to put more effort into advertising the website.”

While the website provides numerous detailed and comprehensive resources on matters regarding diversity there is no list of student organizations devoted to diversity and inclusion, as Wallace points out.

“A comprehensive list of organizations such as support groups, umbrella organizations and other diversity initiatives would allow more students to find the necessary resources and outlets,” Wallace said.

Mayra Valadez ’18, vice president of diversity and inclusion for the Student Assembly, also didn’t know that this new resource is now available. According to Valadez, Cornell should seek student input if it hasn’t already.

“I am positive that any potential donor looking to give to Cornell will — at one point or another — look at or be directed to this site,” she said. “I believe that student voices should be taken heavily into consideration, especially when donors are looking for a specific department, resource or student population, to give to.”

The website features an Equal Education and Employment Statement, information regarding a Title IX coordinator, and restroom and facility guidelines highlighting the University’s universal restrooms. The website also lists numerous events such as talks and seminars that focus on diversity.

Despite their reservations, both Valadez and Wallace believe the website will serve the campus community once it is more well-known.

“I think the website has the potential to be a real asset to the student community,” Wallace said.

“This website serves as a collection of resources and initiatives to which Cornell has committed,” Valadez said. “I hope that it will serve as a means of holding the University and ourselves accountable to diversity and inclusion and our founding mission.”

The website can be found at diversity.cornell.edu.