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Campus Announcements

Advisory committee established to evaluate displays in Wilson Commons

A new advisory committee, jointly charged by University President Sarah Mangelsdorf, Provost Robert Clark, and Dean of the College Jeffrey Runner, met for the first time on February 18 to begin work on community outreach and engagement on the topic of displays in Hirst Lounge in Wilson Commons.

The currently installed flag display in the Hirst Lounge is intended to represent the diversity of students on campus. It is updated each year in November prior to International Education Week to represent the current international student population. Although the flag display was designed and envisioned in the spirit of inclusivity, with a process in place for following international flag protocol and allowing petitions for changes, many members of the community have expressed dissatisfaction with the way flags were displayed, as well as which flags were displayed, not only last fall, but also in past years.

In response, the new advisory committee is charged with engaging the entire University community on the topic of displays in Hirst Lounge and developing a variety of recommendations for how to make use of this space going forward, including an assessment of the building’s architectural and historical significance to campus. The committee has been asked to make their recommendations by April 30.  The decision about possible actions to take in the future will be made jointly by President Mangelsdorf, Provost Clark, and Dean Runner.

Members of the advisory committee include:

  • Laura Ballou, Assistant Dean, Student Life Operations and Director, Campus Center
  • Robert Foster, Richard L. Turner Professor of Anthropology and Visual and Cultural Studies
  • Chunkit Fung, Associate Professor, Department of Medicine; Cancer Center; Dept. of Public Health Sciences
  • Jamal Holtz (Co-chair), Class of 2020, Students’ Association President
  • Kai-Ting Huang, URMC Candidate for MD/PhD
  • Karima Kusow, ‘21S MBA and current interim Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion, Simon Business Council
  • Alexander Lee, Assistant Professor of Political Science
  • Jim Newton, Assistant Dean of Administration, Simon Business School
  • Joan Saab (Co-chair), Susan B. Anthony Professor and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
  • Ravi Shankar, Assistant Vice Provost and Director of International Services, Office for Global Engagement
  • Silvia Sorenson, Associate Professor, Warner School of Education
  • Shiyi Shen, Warner Candidate for PhD in Teaching & Curriculum
  • Sasha Tulgan, Deputy to the President
  • Jim Ver Steeg, Assistant Vice President for Public Relations & Engagement, Office of Equity & Inclusion
  • Gerardo Zambrano, Class of 2020 (AS&E)

Members of the University community who have suggestions or initial feedback for the committee are welcome to contact the committee co-chairs.  More information and opportunities for engagement will be made available as the committee begins its work.

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