Pres. says Unity Week marks start of tradition

By Moin H. Khan

Organizing Unity Through Diversity Week was only the beginning of a tradition to understand, support and celebrate people of diversified backgrounds, NIU President John LaTourette said.

While thanking the people involved in September’s cultural week program at a reception Thursday afternoon in the Pheasant Room of the Holmes Student Center, LaTourette said this tradition should be widely recognized both inside and outside the campus.

Understanding and appreciating the differences of other groups are the marks of an educated person, he said. Each of us comes from different backgrounds and it is necessary for everyone to learn to work together, he said.

Jon Dalton, vice president for student affairs, said the spirit of the cultural week should be kept alive. He said a new planning committee will be convened in January to chalk out the program of the next cultural week.

Dalton said the cultural week was a success, although there was low attendance in some of the events. He said attendance is a narrow way to evaluate the success of any event.

Dalton also gave the audience prints of the first-place winner of the poster contest as a momento of his appreciation.

Philosophy Associate Professor Sherman Stanage said observance of the week addressed a wide range of problems with various degrees of success. But he said it is difficult to measure the impact of the week so early.

Sociology Associate Professor Gian Sarup said the support extended by the administration shows its commitment to the ethnic plurality.

Black Student Union President Pam Bozeman said the week gave students of different ethnic backgrounds the opportunity to become involved in campus activities.

She said, “I am very satisfied with the week and for what it was established.

“The campus has got to learn how to accept, understand, interpret and work with minority students to establish a much more comfortable atmosphere,” she said.