The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

87° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Hart announces diversity task force

Alex McIntyre

Members of the UA Black Student Union present their grievances to UA President Ann Weaver Hart on the steps of Old Main on Friday, Nov. 13. The students were demonstrating in solidarity with student activists at the University of Missouri.

UA President Ann Weaver Hart announced the formation of a “broad-based” diversity task force that will help address issues with the campus climate and lacking cultural competency, according to a Sunday evening press release. 

The task force was formed following a series of listening sessions and discussions with students that helped to bring the issues to light. 

The announcement of the task force comes the week after two protests that marked a “tipping point” for various campus cultural organizations that represent the UA’s marginalized students. Two separate protests flooded the steps of old main on the Tuesday and Thursday before spring break. 

Tuesday’s protest, organized by a newly formed group calling themselves the Marginalized Students of the University of Arizona, included students from a majority of the cultural organizations on campus. They used the protest as an opportunity to present a nearly 20 page list of demands, most of which are concerning cultural inclusion and diversity issues.

READ: Protesters flood the steps of old main, present list of demands

Thursday’s protest was lead by the Graduate Student Organizing Committee, and in addition to acknowledging Tuesday’s protest and lining their fight up with that of the MSUA, protesters primarily focused on what they called adverse administrative practices and Hart’s recent acceptance of a position on DeVry Education Group’s board of directors. 

READ: ‘Have a Hart? Our’s is at DeVry.’

Javier Duran, director of the UA Confluence Center, and Tannya Gaxiola, UA assistant vice president for community relations and chair of the UA Diversity Coordinating Committee, will head up the task force. 

The remainder of the task force will be comprised of representatives from faculty senate, the diversity councils, diverse alumni associations and clubs, the Disability Resource office, religious groups, Associated Students of the UA, Graduate and Professional Student Association and the student cultural groups, according to the release.

READ: President Hart introduces new tuition plan for upcoming school year.

“This is just the beginning of what I hope will be a comprehensive response to the concerns that our students have expressed,” Hart said in the press release. “My goal is to unify UA to work together to become a more inclusive, diverse and safe community.”

Follow Sam Gross on Twitter.

More to Discover
Activate Search