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Race relations committee named; E-mail box planned

The membership of the President's Committee on Campus Race Relations-chaired by Professor Ellen Harris, associate provost for the arts-has been announced by President Vest. The committee will hold its first meeting soon.

The membership includes five faculty members, four students, two deans from Student Affairs, a staff member from the Office of Minority Education, a Campus Police sergeant, and, as ex officio members, the Institute's assistant equal opportunity officer and Dr. Vest's executive assistant.

"This group of students, staff and faculty can play a very important role in promoting a harmonious environment for all to study, work, teach and learn at MIT," President Charles M. Vest said in a letter to committee members.

"I will look to the committee," Dr. Vest said in his letter, "to catalyze activities, develop and distribute information on programs and resources, and administer a modest grants program to support projects proposed by members of the MIT community-with the goal of enhancing multicultural understanding and collegial race relations on campus."

Dr. Vest announced the establishment of the committee last month on the occasion of MIT's 20th annual celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The main speaker at that event was Mrs. Coretta Scott King.

Professor Harris said she would welcome suggestions from any and all members of the community. They can be sent individually to her or to any member of the committee by Institute mail or e-mail. In addition, an e-mail box for the committee is being set up and should be operational this week at .

Among its activities, the committee is expected to develop a monthly calendar of campus activities and events that relate to race relations and serve as an information clearing house for such activities. Also planned is the development of a resource guide with information on services, programs, individuals and organizations that can help promote positive race relations on the MIT campus.

The initial committee appointments extend through the academic year 1996. At the end of that period the accomplishments and effectiveness of the commimttee will be evaluated, Dr. Vest said.

In addition to Professor Harris, the faculty members of the committee are Professor James Chung of EECS; Philip Clay, head of urban studies and planning; Linn Hobbs of materials science and engineering, who also is associate faculty chair, and Robert Jaffe of physics, chair of the faculty.

Graduate student members are Christopher Gittins of chemistry and Alex Long of mechanical engineering.

Undergraduate student members are Teresa Lau of physics/EECS and Nika Lee of urban studies.

Serving on the committee from the Office of the Dean for Student Affairs are Ayida Mthembu, assistant dean, Student Assistance Services and East Campus housemaster; and Mary Ni, assistant dean, Residence and Campus Activities.

Other members are Kesaya Noda, administrative assistant in the Office of Minority Education, and Campus Police Sgt. Cheryl Vossmer.

The ex officio members are Clarence Williams, special assistant to the president and assistant equal opportunity officer, and Kathryn Willmore, executive assistant to Dr. Vest and director of Public Relations Services.

Clara Diebold, senior staff assistant in the Office of the President, provides staff support.

A version of this article appeared in the March 2, 1994 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 38, Number 24).

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