Today, after conversations with various students, Northwestern’s Ski Team has made the decision to join/endorse Northwestern’s student-led diversity initiative, stating that they would petition the university administration for an increased effort and structure for cultivating diversity on campus.
After an amicable conversation with Kellyn Lewis, Dallas Wright, and myself, Matthew Dolph and Ben Shorofsky came to an agreement that the partnership would be beneficial for the students involved in the initiative, for Ski Team, and for the entire Northwestern campus.
The Ski Team President and Events Chair said that they were interested in not only socially responsible programming on campus but that they were interested in the organization’s involvement with the greater Evanston community. The club is planning to host Ski Trips for underprivileged youth in Evanston to teach skiing to students who might not otherwise have a chance as an annual philanthropy. Such an event would be one of the most impactful philanthropies undertaken by a student organization at Northwestern and certainly more immediately responsive than anything that the university administration has ever endeavored to do.
I asked McCormick Sophomore, Luc Mickaël Takouam, what he thought of the plan to host Ski Trips for underprivileged kids in Evanston, and he commented “it’s good, because skiing is a rich, white sport typically, and their initiative exposes black kids who might never have such a good opportunity.”
Weinberg Junior Moddie Wilson said of the new development “it’s great… other student groups should follow suit”.
McCormick Freshman, Mike Western thinks “it’s a good idea… this is a diverse campus, they can make more efforts to recruit different people and make it [more diverse] and this would be good for the Ski Team; that’s a sport for privileged people”.
This is a huge partnership for both Ski Team and for the student run diversity initiatives as campus leaders have been seeking to link typically disconnected demographics on campus to rally around major issues, such as the struggle with Northwestern’s administration to take diversity seriously as a matter of curriculum and campus life.
This partnership may be the first of many such partnerships on campus to send a message to the university’s ‘top floor’ that a majority of students take matters of diversification, inclusion, and understanding seriously, regardless of economic status, racial identity, or political position.
Editor’s note- read Paul’s next piece for a follow-up explanation of this article.