Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Appelbaum, Cleary Sign Diversity Pledge With MEChA

Jack Appelbaum (COL ’14) and Maggie Cleary (COL ’14) pledged to enhance diversity, cultural inclusion and understanding at Georgetown on Tuesday.

The Pledge of Action forDiversity and Inclusion at Georgetown University laid out concrete actions that the pair would take if elected as the Georgetown University Student Association executives Thursday, including organizing a town hall meeting with university administrators to discuss diversity, creating a website to highlight the achievements of cultural and heritage groups on campus and reviving the Student Commission for Unity, a student-led initiative from 2007 to 2012 that aimed to enhance the undergraduate experience at Georgetown, and attaining the recommendations laid out in the 2009 Initiative on Diversity and Inclusiveness.

Movimiento Estudiantil Chican@ de Aztlán, a Chicano cultural, political and service group, drafted the pledge that Appelbaum and Cleary signed.

“I think they are really important proposals for diversity and pluralism on campus, and they are very concrete solutions,” Appelbaum said. “I think MEChA really wanted a concrete approach to diversity issues on campus, and I think we are providing that in the pledge.”

Appelbaum and Cleary’s goal is to foster a stronger sense of community and network of communication on campus between separate factions, according to the pledge.

MEChA decided to write the pledge and approach the candidates after its members attended the East Coast Chicano Student Forum organized by Harvard University on Feb. 17.

“We spoke about issues of diversity as we came back from this conference we attended at Harvard, and we talked about how can we get better attention for issues of diversity,” MECha Co-Chair Antony Lopez (COL ’14) said. “The conversation kind of went with how … cultural groups … like MEChA, are involved with GUSA.”

Lopez said that different candidates approached MEChA seeking their endorsement, but the group decided to endorse Appelbaum and Cleary.

“It kind of came down to a discussion that we liked the platform of Jack and Maggie and their openness to the discussion, that they don’t claim to have the answer, that they’re willing to work with those who are directly involved,” he said.

Appelbaum said that he and Cleary would work with cultural groups to find relevant solutions.

“I think it’s the approach Maggie and I will take of getting as much information and knowledge as possible,” he said. “[If elected, we will be]working with the leaders who are already passionate about these issues and showing a real appreciation for how to address those issues on campus in a way that might be different from what’s been done in the past, to get to more concrete solutions, more concrete changes going forward.”

Lopez said he hopes that Appelbaum and Cleary deliver on their promises if elected, something that previous GUSA executives have not been able to do.

“The last two elections, candidates have approached MEChA before, saying that they would do something, but nothing ever comes about,” Lopez said. “We just felt more comfortable with Jack and Maggie. If they do happen to win, we feel like we have more of a chance of actually getting something done with them.”

Correction: An earlier version of this story identified MEChA as a Mexican cultural group. It is a Chicano political, cultural and service group.

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