Yale President Richard Levin announced the members of the recently reinstated Minority Advisory Committee (MAC) yesterday in an e-mail to Yale students, faculty and staff. Administrators, professors, undergraduate students and graduate students comprise the 15-member standing committee.
Levin said the committee will advise him on campus-wide issues and policies related to minority groups.
Molly Martinez GRD ’08 said the group is prepared to meet modern challenges.
“This is a new century and there are new concerns,” Martinez said. “We will feel the groundwork and see what pertinent issues regarding Yale minorities are affecting Yale at this moment.”
Dean of Student Affairs Betty Trachtenberg said racially contentious events during spring 2003 provoked the formation of a new MAC. Trachtenberg said she hopes all members on the committee will keep an open mind.
“The committee will determine its priorities and its own vision,” Trachtenberg said.
MAC chairman and Law professor Drew S. Days III said the committee plans to have a “big picture perspective” on the status and condition of minority students, faculty and employees at Yale.
“We aren’t an investigative body, so we aren’t geared up to look into individual complaints or resolve events that happen on campus,” Days said.
While MAC members said they are excited to begin work on the committee, one group of Yale students — Concerned Black Students at Yale — expressed disappointment last month that no undergraduate CBS members were appointed to the committee. CBS members also said they were upset the administration did not invite them to be more involved in the committee’s creation nearly one year after they called for its reinstatement.
Days said the committee will critically examine what he called a “greater minority presence” at Yale compared to years past and make recommendations to Levin based on those evaluations.
“Have [minority issues] changed for the better or are there issues that give the impression of backsliding?” Days asked.
MAC member Tiffany Lu ’06 said the committee will determine if reported harassment incidents are related to racial tensions. She said the group is still determining how to review and discuss issues they wish to present to Levin.
“We’re still meeting to see how to approach matters and how to delegate them,” Lu said.
Lu said the MAC will listen to student groups as it examines the possibility of underlying tensions due to University policies.
Joshua Bendor ’05, another undergraduate MAC member, said the committee had an organizational meeting two weeks ago.
Lu said the group is “only in the beginning stages” of planning the MAC’s agenda, but she said she is enthusiastic about the group’s future.
“There’s a lot to be done,” she said. “It’s a very positive start. Everyone wants to do something about [the issues at hand].”
Bendor and Lu said they were interested in serving on the MAC because of their contact with many minority campus groups including, respectively, Jews and Muslims at Yale and the Ethnic Counseling Restructuring Committee.
Faculty MAC members include Trachtenberg, Child Study Center professor Liza Cariaga-Lo, assistant dean of Yale College and director of the Latino and Native American Cultural Houses Rosalinda Garcia, assistant to the president Nina Glickson, director of the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs and special advisor to the provost Valerie Hayes, electrical engineering chairman and applied physics professor Tso-Ping Ma, professor and head of epidemiology microbial diseases and director of international medical studies Curtis Patton, psychology professor Laurie Santos, and University chaplain Frederick Streets.
Other undergraduate and graduate student members include Bendor, Lu, Martinez, Hector Silva ’05 and Derek Snyder GRD ’08.