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UND tackles racial barrier with forming of Diversity Advisory Council

GRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ-TV) - Tackling the racial divide on campus - that's what one group has set out to do after racial tensions have been highlighted at the University of North Dakota.

Not an easy task ahead of the Diversity Advisory Council, a 12-member group made up of mostly faculty, two students, and one community member, chosen by President Mark Kennedy.

Sandra Mitchell, UND Diversity Advisory Council Chair: “Things on campus have given us pause and made us look at things differently.”

UND has been overwhelmed by social media posts that made the rounds and brought race to the forefront of discussion with lewd messages.

Many students say things just aren't the same on campus anymore.

Susykate, UND student: “Especially after recent events that have happened, the action that was taken - I don't feel included on this school in what happens.”

Having a diversity council like this isn't unusual. In fact, UND had one last year. But the group is different, faster moving, and with a big task in front of them. The council must make recommendations to President Kennedy by December 15 to change campus culture.

Andrew Huot, UND student: “I think we need to address it in our community ourselves. The people who will make a difference will be all of us. “

Mitchell: “We want this work to include as many voices and perspectives as possible.”

Using those perspectives, they have a charge to make recommendations with academics, extra-curricular activities, and overall student experience in mind.

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