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February 12, 2001

PCSM discusses further
campus outreach

By Stephanie Sonnenfeld

The President's Commission on the Status of Minorities (PCSM) postponed its plans to host an open meeting in January and held a members-only meeting on Monday, Jan. 29, in the Dobbs Center.

At the November meeting, members had hoped to have an open meeting to try to increase the commisson’s presence on campus and receive feedback on what issues students, faculty and staff would like to see the group address. Chair Brenda Seiton said the winter holiday, and the fact the group didn't have a December meeting, prevented the commission from planning and promoting the open meeting.

Seiton put the issue on the table for members to discuss an alternate meeting date and structure. "One question we have to ask is, what do we want to get out of this?" she said.

Bob Lee said an open meeting would allow the commission to see what sort of identity it has on campus. As a result, PCSM could examine how to better address issues and needs in its community. Some members said they were afraid the meeting might turn into a gripe session and end up being counterproductive if not structured correctly.

Seiton agreed. While she didn't support the idea of an open microphone for nonmembers to voice their opinions, she does want some sort of organized feedback. She supported the idea of a suggestions box.

Members agreed to hold off on the meeting until at least March so the commission can have more time to organize and publicize it.

In other news, Seiton said Emory would not be participating in the Campus Climate Diversity Survey. Surveys had been administered on campus—in written form and via the Internet—at the end of last semester. Emory was one of 30 schools participating in the national survey that assessed the climate and attitudes on campus in various areas including race, gender and sexual orientation.

Seiton said she and the other chairs of the president's commissions would be working with University administrators on a new, internal study.

The commission then evaluated the 32 applications submitted by faculty and staff for PCSM Professional Development Fund grants. Eleven people were chosen to receive a grant of $500 each to help offset costs of travel, lodging or registration fees for professional conferences. Winners will be announced at a later date.

The group also pledged to donate $250 to the Student Government Association's (SGA) Year of Reconciliation Feb. 7 panel discussion (see story, page 1).

The next PCSM meeting will be Feb. 26 at 3 p.m. The location is to be determined.

If you have a question or concern for PCSM, contact Seiton at


Back to Emory Report Feb. 12, 2001