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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    President to meet with black students

    Black student organizations had their last meeting last night to discuss their involvement with the selection process for the new African-American Student Affairs director.

    The Tucson chapter of the NAACP, Helping Our Own People Survive and African-Americans in Life Sciences organized the meeting, which was held last night at Cellar in the Student Union Memorial Center.

    The students will meet with President Peter Likins today at 10 a.m. in the Regents Room of the Administration building to discuss issues facing black students on campus and the two director candidates – Nura Ahmed Dualeh and Mounira Morris.

    Robert Woods, the vice president of HOOPS, said students are confident that Likins would take into consideration their opinions of the candidates and their grievances with the selection process.

    Woods also said the students would inform Likins of their work to create a new organization of representing all black student organizations on campus, so the voice of black students will not go ignored.

    “”We want all blacks to support each other and unify so we have one loud voice and where we are heard on this campus,”” Woods said. “”This meeting was a baby step in that direction.””

    Students have also been taking part in interviews with the candidates held in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Student Center, where AASA is located.

    At the two student interviews, students had the option of filling out questionnaires to inform the search committee of their opinions of the candidates.

    The search committee and officials are taking into consideration the questionnaires as well as issues raised by students at the interviews, said Lynette Cook Francis, assistant vice president for multicultural affairs and student success.

    On February 27, during the first student meeting, philosophy senior and search committee member Ed Hopkins promised that two students would be placed on the search committee, but to date no students have been added.

    Due to the policies of human resources, no new members could be added once the search committee had begun its process, Cook Francis said.

    “”The role of the search committee is simply to recommend the candidate they believe can do the job and advise me of their strengths and weaknesses,”” Cook Francis said. “”I make the decision.””

    Ashley Brathwaite, a psychology sophomore, said she was proud to see black students uniting in order to get their voices heard when the administration wasn’t listening.

    “”It seems like (Cook Francis) doesn’t have our best interest in mind, because if she did, we wouldn’t have to go through all these angry meetings,”” Brathwaite said.

    It seems like (Cook Francis) doesn’t have our best interest in mind, because if she did, we wouldn’t have to go through all these angry meetings.

    – Ashley Brathwaite,
    psychology sophomore

    Despite the controversy surrounding the selection process, Cook Francis said she feels good about all the attention being placed on AASA and has received mostly positive feedback from students on the selection process.

    “”Whenever students are engaged, it has the potential to be helpful for the center and their own development,”” Cook Francis said. “”They have to be given good information and they have to be responsive to the opportunity to participate.””

    In order to better communicate with students during the transition period, Cook Francis has moved her office into AASA and has been holding office hours, she said.

    “”Outside of a few vocal students, I hear a lot of good things,”” Cook Francis said. “”We’ve just got to continue working with each other.””

    The new AASA director will not be named until the search committee finishes its search, but there is no timetable for when that will happen, Cook Francis said.

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