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OIA Newsletter ● April 2006 Volume 1, Issue 2 Welcome! The Office of Intercultural Affairs is dedicated to implementing educational and cultural programs.

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Presentation on theme: "OIA Newsletter ● April 2006 Volume 1, Issue 2 Welcome! The Office of Intercultural Affairs is dedicated to implementing educational and cultural programs."— Presentation transcript:

1 OIA Newsletter ● April 2006 Volume 1, Issue 2 Welcome! The Office of Intercultural Affairs is dedicated to implementing educational and cultural programs that improve campus climate and enhance community life at Bryn Mawr. Through its programs, the office takes a proactive position in helping community members understand how "us" and "them" are defined; how culture and experience shape behavior; and how relationships across differences of race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, class and disability are constructed. The office provides direction and education on recruitment and retention issues for the Bryn Mawr community. It also supervises the Multicultural Center (MCC) at 229 Roberts Road. Editor: Christine Lipuma ‘07 Women’s Center The Women’s Center is a place where students can come to discuss issues such as domestic violence and sexual abuse in a safe space. On March 16, 2006, the Women’s Center had their opening celebration where students came to eat, drink, and talk. Other events, including an AMO-sponsored fundraiser for The Women’s Center on April 2, 2006, have raised awareness of the Center. The next event sponsored by the Women’s Center is “Sexual Abuse: In Relation to Sexuality,” a talk with Salamishah Tillet, a poet/activist. She co- founded A Long Walk Home, Inc., which is a non-profit organization that combats violence by using art such as poetry, music, photography, and videos. The stories of victims are presented in order to promote change through creative and personal means. The event will be held Thursday, April 13, 2006 at 7:30 PM in the Quita Woodward Room of Thomas Great Hall. The Women’s Center is located inside of the Pagoda, which is the small red building next to the Health Center. If you would like more information, contact the Women’s Center co-coordinators, Shayna Israel, and Mzimeli Morris Disability Awareness This semester has seen many initiatives to increase awareness about disabilities. In the beginning of the semester, a panel discussion hosted by the ADA (Advocates for Disability Awareness) and including OIA director Chris MacDonald-Dennis addressed what it means to have a disability. One consideration presented by the panel was that there are many different types of disabilities that people often don’t notice, including psychological disorders and learning disabilities. Disability awareness was also discussed at a March Diversity Conversation at the MCC. The question of fairness was examined in the conversation. Many students think that it is not “fair” that some students do not have to participate in room draw or that they are given special privileges like extra time to take exams. It was suggested, though, that perhaps this simply puts people on a more level playing field. This spring there was also a Plenary resolution to ask for student support of an increase in access to buildings on campus for people with disabilities. It is clear that Bryn Mawr has a long way to go to both make the campus accessible and to increase student awareness and understanding of disabilities, but it is hoped that the ADA will be able to assist in addressing these problems.

2 General Information for the Office of Intercultural Affairs Chris MacDonald- Dennis Assistant Dean and Director of Intercultural Affairs X6586, cmacden Peaches Valdes Assistant Director of Intercultural Affairs X6592, tvaldes Vanessa Christman Program Assistant X6594, vchristm Location: Bryn Mawr College Multicultural Center 229 Roberts Rd. Bryn Mawr, PA Phone: Mailing Address: Office of Intercultural Affairs Bryn Mawr College 101 N. Merion Ave. Bryn Mawr, PA Marrow-thon 2006 Bryn Mawr’s multicultural organization, Mixed Company, will host a Marrow-thon at the end of April. The Marrow-thon is a tissue-type testing drive that is used to identify potential bone marrow donors, particularly of minority backgrounds. A bone marrow transplant is sometimes needed to help patients whose bone marrow has deteriorated due to diseases like leukemia. In a simple procedure, a finger prick is done on each person, the drop of blood it is type-tested, and then this information is put into the National Marrow Donor Program’s registry to see if the person is a match for someone who needs a bone marrow transplant. Since tissue type is inherited, a person is more likely to find a match within their racial or ethnic group. This makes it difficult for people of mixed ancestry to find a match because they may have a combination of backgrounds. In addition to multiracial people, another goal of the Marrow-thon is to increase the number of people of color in general in the registry. This year, Bryn Mawr is also supporting the initiative to allow homosexual men to join the bone marrow registry. Currently, “any male who had sex with another male, even once, since 1977" is disqualified from the registry due to the risk of HIV or hepatitis. The MAVIN foundation feels that this policy is homophobic, and it is asking the FDA to amend the rule. There will be petitions to sign during the Bryn Mawr Marrow-thon to support this initiative. If you would like more information, please contact Catherine Farman at Religion on Campus By Dinu Ahmed, ‘08 The political and social climate surrounding liberal arts colleges today has made conversations on issues of faith a tense, uncomfortable, or downright non- existent experience for students across the country. What does such silence bode for the future? When people are unable to communicate aspects of their identity freely, stereotyping and discrimination are quick to ensue as others rush to fill the void that such silence creates. Religion on Campus Week is one way to counteract the stigma faith communities have been subject to all too often and instead exposes the greater Bryn Mawr community to the rich diversity that exists in various modes of thought and spiritual identity. Faith is about the way we process events in our life, and the way we choose to understand our place in the world. It is also multifaceted, even among two people who profess to follow the same faith, because it an interpretive and individual understanding. It is hoped that in the wide array of interfaith conversations that will be held during this week, on issues including the tensions around faith and atheism, prayer, sexuality, science, death, and outlooks on what may or may not exist after death, that the individuality and humanity behind people who identify themselves as persons of faith will be conveyed. Religion on Campus Week also aspires to demonstrate the variety of spiritual outlooks on campus through our inclusion of a multitude of groups, including atheists, Athena's Circle, Baha'i Campus Association, Episcopal Campus Ministry, Inter-varsity Christian Fellowship, Jewish Student Union, Muslim Students Association, and Mormons. Religion on Campus is a week of events involving faith at Bryn Mawr, which will be held from Sunday, April 9 to Saturday, April 16. There will be discussions, panels, religious events, and workshops.


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