MAILED: June 18, 1997|
EAU CLAIRE -- Leadership is the name of the game at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and residence hall leaders have a national award to prove it.
Student leaders of the residence hall organization Making Our School an Intercultural Community received the 1997 Commitment to Diversity Award from the National Association of College and University Halls in May at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind.
UW-Eau Claire students attend the four-day conference every year with about 3,000 students from across the nation, Canada and Mexico. It's intended to offer programs based on leadership skills.
This award recognizes "outstanding contributions to improving residence hall living through dedication, hard work and commitment to diversity."
Matthew Pieper, UW-Eau Claire's national communications coordinator from Lodi, accepted the plaque.
UW-Eau Claire was selected based on a 30-page bid coordinated by Jen Kopp, Sussex; Jen Schobert, Marshall; and Sarah Truax, Green Bay. It documented the efforts of the Housing and Residence Life diversity task force MOSAIC. It also presented information about the structure and the goals of the organization.
The criteria the NACURH board requested for qualification included a campus statement on diversity, a minimum of five programs offered at the university, a list of resources, and letters of support from administration and students.
UW-Eau Claire had no problem meeting the requirements. In fact, it has more than 25 programs, said Sissy Bouchard, senior coordinator of Student Development and Programs.
The biggest project MOSAIC worked on this past year was the "Tunnel of Oppression" program, Bouchard said. There were more than 1,000 students, faculty and community members who participated with the 12 scenarios which depicted intolerance found in society.
The students involved with MOSAIC present additional programs to classes at the university and to the Eau Claire community.
"I think that extended involvement made their program so valued," Bouchard said. "It made them stick out (at the conference)."
About 100 students participate with MOSAIC which was co-chaired during the 1996-97 academic year by Aurise Bruneau, Medford, and Mike Doran, Krakow, and adviser Jodi Thesing-Ritter, Towers North hall director.
"Through hard work, dedication and an overwhelming personal interest in the issues of diversity, MOSAIC has managed to make the difference and affect the university and Eau Claire communities," Thesing-Ritter said. "This grass roots approach has blossomed into a task force continually searching for new ways to promote issues of diversity.
"MOSAIC strives to and has succeeded at creating an awareness and appreciation for diversity surrounding us."
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: July 2, 1997