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December 11, 2000

PCSM strives toward change, visibility

By Stephanie Sonnenfeld


Talk of bolstering its presence on campus and overall improvement dominated the November meeting of the President's Commission on the Status of Minorities (PCSM), held in Dobbs University Center
Nov. 27.

Commission Chair Brenda Seiton asked members to discuss their 2000–01 goals. All members present agreed the commission needed to improve its communication with the University community.

Seiton suggested the group look into creating a communications subcommittee responsible for public relations aspects, such as creating flyers of PCSM events.

Seiton alluded to efforts by the President's Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW) and Employee Council. Specifically, she cited how the groups have basic brochures describing their purpose and activities.

"We should institutionalize the brochure, so information can be used yearly and we won't have to reinvent PCSM," said Vera Rorie, assistant dean of Campus Life and director of the Office of Mulicultural Affairs.

Other members said the brochure would be a good idea and, once completed, should be placed in many locations on campus.

Seiton asked the group to share other ideas on broadening the commission's appeal. Ann Starks said, during her first term, PCSM sponsored a large reception every fall for students, faculty and staff, introducing them to the commission and its goals. She said the event was popular but stopped due to monetary constraints.

Rorie said the commission once issued an annual report every fall to the president, updating the commission's progress during the previous school year.

Curt Carlson said the group also should examine its networking relationships with other groups as another way to expand its reach on campus. Rorie suggested members examine PCSM archives to study past events and see if any could be revamped.

Seiton said she'd like January's meeting to be an open meeting in Dobbs University Center, inviting anyone to attend and share their views on how the committee can better serve Emory. "I know we need to strengthen the commission or we will slowly die out," she said.

The other agreed, and Rorie said she would obtain a copy of a past PCSM annual report to share.

In other business, Seiton urged the group to participate in the Campus Climate Survey, either in its written form or online at Emory is one of 30 schools participating in the national survey that will assess the climate and attitudes on campus in various areas including race, gender and sexual orientation.

Seiton said PCSM will sponsor a student writing competition next semester. Students may submit fiction, essays or poetry on the theme, "Reflection on Race, In the Year of Reconciliation." Three winners will receive $150 each and the deadline for entries is March 1. For more information, contact the EOP office at 404-727-6016.

Seiton then updated members on the PCSM/EOP office sponsored professional development grant, which will be awarded to full-time minority staff members. The application deadline is Dec. 29.

Completed forms should be submitted to EOP, 110 Administration Building. Award determination will be made by Jan. 19, 2001. Questions and requests for a full list of criteria should be directed to the EOP office at 404-727-6016.

The PCSM will meet again Jan. 22 in Dobbs University Center at 3 p.m.

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


Back to Emory Report Dec. 11, 2000