Cheryl Chatman, Executive Vice President and Dean of Diversity Affairs at Concordia University sent out a letter to the upcoming freshman class in which “students of color” were asked to attend a special meeting.
As reported by Campus Reform, the letter said “In an effort to help new students of color feel more adjusted and connected to the university, a pre-orientation session will be held on Saturday, August 27th from 4:00 P.M. to 5:30 P.M. in the music band room.”
It went on to say that, “All new students of color are expected to attend this meeting.”
Chatman adds that the purpose of the meeting is to introduce “students of color” to resources and organizations available “to ensure your involvement, satisfaction, and success”.
One student didn't take kindly to the letter and voiced her disapproval on Facebook and resulted in over 700 shares.
Jeanine Flowers wrote, “So I received this letter in the mail today. I had to reread, wipe my eyes and have someone else to read this to make sure I was reading this correctly. This letter has made me rethink my educational institute. I supposed to start school on the 29th, but I will have to apply elsewhere. Really! I am so disappointed and I would not attend such a meeting. FB, would you be offended?”
As a result, Chatman sent out a second letter explaining how the same notice is sent out every year and is done “in the hopes of getting students to attend something that may change their entire college experience”.
“Clearly our excitement to ensure that our students realized the importance of this meeting may have been interpreted as required or mandatory instead of warm and welcoming,” she conceded. She did, however add that “we can adjust this for the future.”