The student council at Northwestern University is mulling a name change of its Diversity and Inclusion Committee to the totally different name of “Accessibility and Inclusion Committee.”
The new and improved committee moniker would be better, Northwestern student council member Austin Romero told The Daily Northwestern last week, because “accessibility” as a concept is more achievable and way better-defined than “diversity.”
Romero’s current Associated Student Government title is vice president of diversity and inclusion.
“I think it’s really difficult to act directly on diversity, trying to make the community more diverse,” Romero told the campus newspaper.
“We need to make sure the Northwestern community is inclusive and most importantly accessible to all students, and in that way we can make sure the campus has a better chance of becoming more diverse,” the senior added.
One thing that could be causing Northwestern to be less diverse than Romero would like is cost. The price for one year of tuition, room and board and mandatory fees at the fancypants private school is $61,640.
In the event that a committee name change occurs, Romero noted, his current student government responsibilities won’t change one iota. However, his mental focus would radically change from “diversity” to “accessibility.”
At the same time, the massive transformation in the committee name would in no way alter Romero’s commitment to the nebulous notion of diversity, of course.
“That’s not saying that I don’t value diversity or that I don’t want to continue fostering it, because that’s absolutely what I want to do,” he told the student rag. “I would say that’s even the ultimate goal.”
In the coming weeks, Romero’s committee will advance the cause of accessibility by helping interested low-income students pay for tickets to Northwestern theater performances.
It’s not clear what the discount would be exactly. Student ticket prices for upcoming performances including “In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play” and “Danceworks 2015: Ties that Bind” (“a full evening of cutting-edge dance”) are just $5.
The committee also hopes to put together training programs for self-proclaimed student leaders on topics such as social class status and LGBT issues.
Northwestern’s student council will discuss this critical name change this week.
Whatever happens, Northwestern is a perpetual hot spot for diversity controversy.
In May 2013, for example, school officials sent a campus-wide letter that advised students not to celebrate Cinco de Mayo by engaging in racially-offensive activities, such as eating tacos and drinking tequila. (RELATED: Latino Student Group Says Eating Tacos Is Offensive To Mexicans)
And just this fall, students at Northwestern a discovered an exciting, new racist complaint after a sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma, and a fraternity, Zeta Beta Tau, had planned a “Jail N’ Bail” fundraiser that would have involved members of the Greek groups arresting volunteers who would then sit in a pretend jail until they raised enough money to bail themselves out.
The event was canceled after a small group of critics griped about a publicity shot involving orange, jail-like jumpsuits because, the critics argued, orange jumpsuits represent “an oppressive system that operates as a massive encumbrance” to “black and brown children.” (RELATED: Northwestern Sorority Grovels After ‘Jail N’ Bail’ Fundraiser Branded RACIST)
“Bail” proceeds from the fundraiser would have benefited Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), America’s largest nonprofit dedicated to children’s literacy. But they did not.