Thursday, October 6, 2011

OMSA Advisory Board Meeting Highlights!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The OMSA Advisory Board meets bi-monthly to address the concerns of UChicago’s multicultural community. It is an important asset in helping to ensure that OMSA and the university administration is effectively meeting the needs of the diverse student body. In order to make sure that broader campus community is aware of the concerns the Advisory Board are addressing, the OMSA Blog includes meeting highlights!

Meeting Date: November 1, 2011

Special Guests:

  • Office of the Provost: Dr. William McDade, Deputy Provost for Research and Minority Issues; Dr. Chinonye Nnakwe, Director of Graduate Diversity Recruitment; and Nicole Woods Diversity Educator
  • The University of Chicago Police Department: Marlon Lynch, Associate Vice-President for Safety and Security and Chief of Police; and Kevin Booker Commander of Community and Support Services Division


v You can have a say on the type of food served. If there is a specific dish or type of food that you would like to see served, then you can contact Richard Mason An overview of the process, is provide a recipe, the cooks prepare the meal, and then it is tasted by you and the group who made the suggestion, and once approved is added to the meal rotation. Also dining is open for suggestions. Simply email

v Kim Goff-Crews the Vice President for Campus Life and Dean of Students, will be at the next meeting if you have any questions that you would like to her to answer please contact an advisory board member or the OMSA staff .

v OMSA is looking to refine its goals for this year to make sure it is effectively meeting the needs of students of color on campus. Continue to talk to Advisory Board members and OMSA staff about how we might better serve you in our mission!


· The Board asked about the diversification of Faculty here at the University

§ Dr. McDade and his office are pursuing a targeted approach to recruiting, including identifying potential faculty candidates in specific fields.

§ Data will also be collected in the future through interviews from current faculty of color here, faculty that has left, as well as faculty that decided to attend other institutions to better understand how to recruit and retain excellent professors from different departments.

§ Each department has their own identity and philosophy, and Dr. McDade and office is working with a specific set of departments to increase diversity.

· The Board asked about safety concerns in traveling especially when dark

§ Marlon encouraged using the bus routes which are redesigned every year based on the population of the campus

§ Also the security guards are able to walk with you on the block that they are on.

§ Marlon also shared city safety tips such as not getting off on the L’s last stop. Other tips can be found on common sense. Also while more expensive Marlon did state that the metra may be better for using because the Universtiy invests in safety measures at the metra station.

§ Also other safety measures that the University has invested in is smart cameras which are across the campus and at doors and exits such that if items are left for a period of time, an officer is contacted to go and inspect the area.

§ The Board asked about safety concern

· The board asked about the UCPD being racially sensitive

§ Marlon said that officers should be able to clearly articulate if they ask for your student id. If they do not you should still comply and then file a complaint. To file a complaint you can go to their website, a complaint form is posted on the website or you can go to the UCPD headquarters at 6054 S. Drexel Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637 and file a complaint in person.

§ Other resources that a student may use if they feel disrespected or profiled are: calling the dean on call, bias response team, or speak to someone on the OMSA staff . Complaints are taken seriously and an appropriate response will be pursued.