A University committee heard from students and community members about the new Diversity Plan in a public session Tuesday night, but hopes for a higher attendance level at its next session Thursday.

The Ad Hoc Diversity Planning Committee held the engagement session to allow students, faculty and community members to voice their opinions on recommendations and concerns about the Diversity Plan draft.

Co-chairs of the event, professor Ruth Litovsky and Ph.D. student Ryan Adserias both said in the session they wanted attendees to think about how best to implement these practices and to tweak the goals and recommendations of the Diversity Plan.

Litovsky said the committee wants “honest feedback” and “honest input” on how well they have addressed different concerns about the plan as well as what else they can do to improve it.

“I view this as being very much for students for improving their learning
experience,” Litovsky said. “The best way for students to engage is to think about things that are near and dear to their heart and to voice that and then get involved.”

The co-chairs encouraged students and faculty alike to show up to the next engagement session on Thursday, April 10 at 7 p.m. in the Lake Mendota Room of Dejope Hall.

UW has had multiple diversity policies over the years, but has not had a written conglomerate Diversity Plan document since 2008. The new Diversity Plan seeks to combine bits and pieces of diversity policy across campus and funnel them into one cohesive written document.

“The goal of this work is to coordinate all of the things that are already
happening,” Adserias said. “There have been home-brewed things that create duplication and overlap, or areas that haven’t been touched on because there isn’t a clear vision. A lot of the work here is to create that broad vision and clarity.”

A draft of the diversity framework will be finalized on April 21. Votes on the Diversity Plan will be held in the months of April and May, and implementation of the finalized copy will be put into action during the summer and fall semesters of 2014.

[Photo by Louis Johnson/Badger Herald]