Concordia says letter about 'students of color' meeting was 'misinterpreted' - Bring Me The News

Concordia says letter about 'students of color' meeting was 'misinterpreted'


A letter sent to new students attending Concordia University this fall has some people upset.

Jeanine Flowers posted part of the letter to Facebook Monday (see photo above), and it has since been shared nearly 650 times, saying it isolates and segregates minority students.

The letter invites students of color to a pre-orientation event to help them feel more "adjusted and connected" to the university, and in bold, capital letters says: "All students of color are expected to attend this meeting." (Read the full letter here.)

In her Facebook post, Flowers said she was disappointed by the letter and it made her "rethink my educational institute."

Cheryl Chatman, executive vice president and dean of diversity affairs at Concordia, wrote the letter, and in another another letter posted to Concordia's website Thursday, she addressed some people's concerns.

Chatman said the meeting is meant to connect minority students with different clubs and organizations they may not be aware of, and she aimed to emphasize the importance of the meeting by writing attendance is expected.

She continued:

"Clearly our excitement to ensure that our students realized the importance of this meeting may have been interpreted as required or mandatory instead of warm and welcoming. We can adjust this for the future. We want to ensure you know that we value our students and this was not intended to make anyone feel alienated but welcome, as a vital part of our community."

On Facebook, Flowers wrote she spoke with Chatman, and the dean invited her to meet with her to "collaborate ways to better communicate and organize her true intentions."

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