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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    African- American director to be named

    Students expressed their frustration with the administration yesterday after administrators told them they will not be included in the selection of the new director of African-American Student Affairs.

    The search for a new director is being conducted by a search committee made up of UA faculty and staff and one graduate student, but students wish to have their voices heard by allowing student representatives on the committee.

    “”I feel we were told one thing and led to believe something else, and now all of a sudden we are not allowed on the search committee,”” said Offuneka Arah, the president of the Tucson chapter of the NAACP.

    Arah said multiple administrators told her there would be student representation on the search committee and that they would receive voting rights, but the students were denied student representation yesterday.

    But Socorro Carrizosa, head of the search committee, said although she had discussed putting students on the committee, she did not create it so she didn’t have the authority to do so.

    Instead, Carrizosa suggested student leaders on campus participate with the search committee even though they will not have an official vote for the final decision.

    Members of the committee met with the second candidate for the AASA director position, Mounira Morris, yesterday in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Student Center.

    Arah said the consensus between students who attended the interview was that they did not approve of Morris.

    “”She had answers to all our questions, and it felt like lip service,”” Arah said.

    Students and administrators interviewed Nura Ahmed Dualeh last week for the AASA director position, and students said they thought Morris was a better prepared candidate than Dualeh despite her shortcomings, Arah said.

    Elwood McDowell, a member of the search committee, said he thought both meetings were very productive and the candidates gave honest answers to their questions.

    “”She’s a breath of fresh air. She’ll be a pit bull for the students,”” said Alex Jordann, a UA alumnus. “”She’s a woman who likes to be challenged by her job.””

    Morris answered many questions about cultural issues on campus, including the disconnection between black athletes and the black community on campus.

    She said the athletes need to get more involved, and as director she would meet with athletic coaches to address the issue.

    “”You won’t get all of them, but you will get some, and that’s a step in the right direction,”” Morris said.

    Morris had many ideas to get students more involved with the MLK Center.

    “”I will literally send a letter to all black students inviting them to a welcome back barbecue or cookout or whatever,”” Morris said. “”When on a white campus and walking around looking at people who don’t look like you, you need a space where people look like you.””

    The search committee has not specified when it will vote for a new director, or if it will include students in the final vote.

    Arah said the students will meet with the Arizona Board of Regents on Friday at noon to discuss their options for the decision-making process of the AASA director position.

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