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May 7, 2001

Membership increase proposed by PCSM

By Stephanie Sonnenfeld


The final meeting of the President’s Commission on the Status of Minorities (PCSM) was held Monday, April 30, in 400 Administration.

Chair Brenda Seiton presented a list of proposed new members and alternates, pending the approval of President Bill Chace. Seiton also submitted an amendment to the group’s bylaws, that would increase commission membership from 23 to 33. Thirty of these members are to be approved by President Chace, up from 20.

Membership numbers haven’t been amended since 1979, Seiton said. "The face of the University certainly has grown, and having 23 members isn’t very representative," she said.

Attending members approved the amendment and list of proposed members. Members then posed the question of revamping the group’s quorum requirement, which currently stands at two-thirds of the total membership. Because it may not always be possible to have a large number of members at each meeting, members approved a motion to change its quorum requirements to one-third of its total membership.

In other business, Seiton asked for volunteers to work over the summer on the PCSM’s diversity plan, which was discussed with Chace at the March meeting. The plan aims to recommend ways in which Emory can best address and adopt diversity into its day-to-day life.

Members then viewed a videotape of The Randolph Show, a student-produced show on the EmoryVision television station. The show has recently been under fire for an episode allegedly slandering minorities. The group issued the following statement:

“At the April 30, 2001 meeting, the President's Commission on the Status of Minorities reviewed the recent episode of the EmoryVision program, The Randolph Show, and the written complaints published in The Emory Wheel. Members also discussed several messages sent through the LearnLink Conferences and several messages sent to individual members of the PCSM. The PCSM found that the portrayal of Asians in the program was petty and insulting. The program also included equally offensive and degrading portrayals of Hispanics and African Americans. Overall, the program demonstrated poor judgment on behalf of the writers, producers and actors of The Randolph Show and the Media Council, and also demonstrated their general lack of respect for and insensitivity toward their audience and Emory colleagues.

The PCSM strongly condemns this offensive behavior and urges members of the Emory community to speak out against this vulgarity. The staff of The Randolph Show and the Media Council must acknowledge that members of the Emory community were hurt by their actions.

The use of media and telecommunication resources to create and provide programming for the Emory Community establishes opportunities to benefit and enrich the lives of all. This show was an abuse of that opportunity. The stereotyping and humiliation of people because of their race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation is offensive and unacceptable.”

In closing commission also announced the winners of its annual writing contest:
• Natasha Bell, The Image of the Black Male in the American Mind (paper)
• Lauren Gunderson, Midnight Bull Fight (play)
• Nicole Loveless, Reflections on Race & Diversity: Out of Context (poem)

The PCSM will meet again at the beginning of the Fall 2001 semester.

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


Back to Emory Report May 7, 2001