Dear Students, Staff, Faculty and Community Members,
"Organizations do grow and change." This phrase is one of many guiding principles hanging on my office wall that I learned early on in my social justice and diversity training taught to me by Dr. Rev. Jamie Washington. To me change often feels like an opportunity for hope and healing, and as someone who admittedly hates it, I know change can sometimes evoke fear and anxiety.
On March 30, 2016, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman decided to not prosecute police officers Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze for their murder of Jamar Clark. This decision is a monumental error of impunity. What we have witnessed here in Minneapolis is a symptom of a larger pattern of systemic racial injustice—one wherein some elected officials insist upon maintaining a status quo of white supremacy. In deciding to not prosecute Ringgenberg and Schwarze, the County Attorney has reinforced the deeply harmful narrative that Black lives do not matter.
Meet Aduramo (Adura) Lasode, graduating this spring from the College of Science and Engineering with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Growing up in Nigeria, Adura Lasode’s resources and means to attain her dream of being an engineer were limited. “In addition to social class, my gender, in relation to my career of interest, was a challenge.” But from that, she says, sprung her determination. When Lasode first came to the U of M, she was too shy to make eye contact with her professors.
The University of Minnesota is taking a novel approach to tackling the state’s persistent achievement gap: they’re asking the students for help.
A partnership between the U of M, St. Paul Public Schools and the district’s afterschool community network Sprockets is wrapping up a five-month-long pilot project Wednesday [May 4] at Northrop Auditorium, where it will showcase their results along with a handful of personal videos created by the students who participated.
By Deane Morrison
When a woman in Hodson Hall needs a restroom, she may have a long way to go. There are two women’s and two men’s restrooms in Hodson Hall (and one all-gender, accessible restroom).
That may sound like parity, but the women’s restrooms have just one stall, while the men’s restrooms have a stall and a urinal. That makes a 2:1 ratio in favor of men.
“The national building code standard requires a 2:1 female-male ratio of toilets,” says Peg Lonnquist, director of the U’s Women’s Center. “Internationally, the ratio is three to one.”
Hodson Hall female faculty and staff (65 percent of people working in Hodson are female) sometimes make the trek to the next building to avoid the long lines due to the insufficient numbers of restrooms.
The good news is that this summer, Hodson’s women’s rest rooms will double in capacity. Due to advocacy from the Women’s Center, Fallon, and Christy and the work of Facilities Management collaborators, approval has been secured to add one stall each to the two women’s rooms, bringing equality if not parity.