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

What’s in a Name’ At CMEA, ‘Minority’ No Longer, ‘Multicultural’ in Its Place

Go up to the fifth floor of the Leavey Center looking for the Center for Minority Educational Affairs, and you may run into an unexpected roadblock.

Starting this semester, the center will operate under a different name.

The new title keeps the center’s established acronym, but little else. Directors for the center – now known as the Center for Multicultural Equity and Access – say that the removal of the word “minority” from the center’s name does not reflect any alteration to the center’s mission.

“We’re keeping our basic identity,” said Dennis Williams, associate dean of students and CMEA director.

Williams added that, compared to the way in which his colleagues around the country present themselves to the public, “the terminology that we were using was starting to feel a little dated.”

“We wanted to keep the same initials because that’s how most people know us now,” Williams said.

For more than 30 years since its establishment, the center has furthered the interests of Georgetown’s various minority groups. CMEA sponsors the Black House, the Community Scholars Program, the Patrick Healy Fellows and various other programs and activities aimed at students from diverse backgrounds.

CMEA started using its new title, beginning this semester. During its Racial Identity Development Conference, held on campus last Thursday, the center went by its new moniker. The center’s Web site and the university’s online directory, however, have not been updated to reflect the change and still refer to the center by its defunct title.

In an e-mail sent out to CMEA’s listserv yesterday afternoon, the center’s staff said that while they intend to continue the center’s existing work, the new name may better illustrate the functions of the center.

“We believe the new name is a more progressive and dynamic representation of the work we do,” the e-mail said.

Williams added that the new nomenclature may even attract some minority students to the center who may otherwise have expressed minimal interest.

“There might be some students who we aren’t reaching now and the name change might help,” he said.

Tiffany Yu (MSB ’10), who has taken part in some of the center’s programs, does not see the change as entirely necessary, but supports the effort of the center to increase its accessibility on campus.

“I think it’s a little strange to change the name after we’ve become so used to it, but I embrace the name change because it opens up the services of CMEA to a lot of other students,” Yu said.

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