Goal of ECC to provide for all, not just minorities

The University of Washington Student Newspaper Thursday, May 2, 1996

Letters to the Editor

Goal of ECC to provide for all, not just minorities Valerie Curtis-Newton Letter to the Editor

Editor:This letter is in response to The Daily's Apr. 22 story, "ASUW evaluates effectiveness of commissions" regarding the investigation of a duplication of services between the ASUW commissions and several of the organizations housed at the Ethnic Cultural Center. As an employee of the ECC, I feel compelled to offer a point of clarification. The tone of the article and some of those quoted imply that the Ethnic Cultural Center is the province solely of ethnic student groups. In fact, the mission of the ECC is to "promote an inclusive educational environment by providing programs and services designed to encourage the communication and exchange of multicultural perspectives and values." Contrary to popular belief, that mission benefits all students: ethnic students, white students, the physically challenged, women, gays and lesbians. While we are clearly interested in seeing that the needs of students of color are met, the only criteria a student group must meet in order to enjoy the benefits of being housed at the ECC (apart from being in accord with our mission) is that they must be registered with the Student Affairs Office.The fact is, the ECC is a University-wide resource. We encourage all students to make use of the facility. Many non-ethnic organizations and academic departments use the facility for meetings and classes. In addition to the ethnic groups located at the ECC, we provide space for a wide range of student groups including RISE (an organization representing economically disadvantaged students), the YWCA's UW chapter and the Early Entrance Drama Society.Finally, the ECC is proud of our work promoting and valuing diversity. It is important that we work together not to let misperceptions undermine this work.Valerie Curtis-Newton,Artistic coordinator, Ethnic Cultural Theater

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