Student Diversity Advisory Council Embraces Multilevel Mission


Members of the UT Dallas Student Diversity Advisory Council visited the Crow Collection of Asian Art in Dallas. The council addresses student diversity, concerns, activities and programs to increase awareness and understanding of each other.

As part of UT Dallas’ Student Diversity Advisory Council, Lavanya Desai makes recommendations on diversity programs, helps with special events and meets with University officials.

“We get to talk to them, ask them things,” said Desai, a psychology senior who serves as the council’s chairperson. “To have the ability to take campus concerns, questions and issues and present them directly to someone who is in a position of power at the University is amazing, especially as a student and undergraduate. As a student, it’s great to have a voice.”

In 2008, the Office of Diversity and Community Engagement formed the council to get students’ perspective, input and advice, said Dr. George Fair, vice president of Diversity and Community Engagement.

The University has one of the nation’s most diverse campuses, ranking among the top 25 most ethnically diverse undergraduate student populations in the country in 2015, according to U.S. News & World Report. Council members come from a wide range of backgrounds that reflect UT Dallas’ diversity.

Join the Council

The council will have its first meeting of the academic year from noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 21, in ATC 1.201.  All students are welcome. For more information, email Jasmine Johnson at [email protected]

“This is a good venue for reaching people from other backgrounds,” said Conrad Corretti, vice chairperson of the group and a PhD student in psychological sciences. “It’s an opportunity to band together.”

Desai said she hopes to increase membership this year. She said all students are welcome.

“We want to have as many people involved as possible,” Desai said. “The more people we have, the more change we can effect.”

Gregory Walker, a business administration senior and military veteran, joined the council last year.

“I have a passion now to know more about diversity and the different aspects of it,” Walker said. “I want to take the information I’ve learned to help others.”

Members said they were most proud of a campus tour they hosted last spring for area high school students who came with their families to the United States as refugees. The council co-sponsored the event with the International Rescue Committee.

“Some of them had never seen college campuses before and didn’t think college would be an opportunity for them,” Corretti said.

Council members said they hope the students on the tour will consider applying to UT Dallas.

“We wanted to show them that no matter what your background is, college is within your reach. That was a way we got to give back to the Dallas community. I’m hoping we can expand our service role this year. The school does a lot for us, so in the Student Diversity Advisory Council, we’re trying to give back,” Desai said.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].

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