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`Race, Sex and God' seeks broad forum on diversity

As student members of the "Beyond the Comfort Zone: Race, Sex and God" planning committee, we feel it is our duty to dispel the ignorant rhetoric spouted by Bill English in his column "Diversity will solve our problems? Please." While English spat out faulty arguments leading to inaccurate conclusions, we will leave our personal grudges and political affiliations aside. Below we give an accurate picture of what "Race, Sex and God" entails while refuting English's most egregious misconceptions.

This project never has been and never will be about the administration, but began as an honest discussion between a student and a professor about the issue of racial diversity in fraternities. Since its conception, the many (diverse) opinions on the planning committee--members include an Emmy Award-winning film producer, nationally recognized professors of African-American Studies, Religion, and Ethics and a couple regular frat guys--have broadened the boundaries to incorporate the entire Duke community, adding sex and God to the list of issues involved--an ambitious goal, no doubt.

We agree whole-heartedly with English that diversity isn't a panacea for everything that is wrong about Duke, but there is much to gain from learning about differences in identity. As English points out, we were recently ranked as the "diversist of the diverse" and we would be foolish to not try to encourage interaction among the many people of different ethnicities, religions, etc., that attend this University. That is the overarching goal behind this project, not necessarily to resolve problems, but to foster honest dialogue and discussion. Maybe this dialogue will lead to bigger and better things, and maybe it won't. Regardless, this is an opportunity for students to express their views about race, sex and God while simultaneously considering the perspectives of others. (Note to English: This creative competition is open to all perspectives. A proposal reflecting the views of David Horowitz would be equally considered among all projects.)

Nick Csikesz

Pratt '04

and

Jon Ferris

Trinity '05

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