Letter to the Editor: The President’s Talk On Diversity Falls Flat

By Dara Clay, EWU Student

First, I want to acknowledge and thank those involved in the production of Diversity Week as I’m sure it can be a lengthy and thoughtful process.

Dr. Mary Cullinan’s talk on May 12 titled “Walking Together to Transform Lives” fell flat as she was unmindful towards the struggle minority groups on campus face.

Well in to her speech, Dr. Cullinan finally gained focus towards EWU’s diverse student population as she spoke of lactation rooms on campus being available. However those rooms are always locked, preventing them from being used. She also failed to mention the importance of gender-neutral bathrooms on campus or even the new alleged multi-cultural center coming in and what she hopes those things will do for students.

When a student mentioned her own experiences on campus, Dr. Cullinan was reluctant to take a stance and propose solutions. Her answers were inattentive and unthoughtful.

Dr. Cullinan only took three questions from students, sitting down before students had a chance to really get engaged. Although the event was for two hours, Dr. Cullinan raced to her seat after the first hour, and avoided answering questions in front of the whole audience. By doing this she escaped being held accountable for her words.

Dr. Cullinan made her character further questionable when she said she attended the lavender graduation (the LGBTQIAA graduation ceremony). She spoke in the beginning of the event, however, she left very early, perhaps directly following her speech. I don’t think that counts as attendance. This wouldn’t be out of character for her as she left early at a BSU event in the fall quarter, where students demanded change to the curriculum of EWU to include mandatory race and diversity classes.

Dr. Cullinan’s behavior has shown passive commitment for diversity on campus, thus underserving our student body.