Signpost (Weber, Utah), 1991-08-061
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VOLUME 52. ISSUE 8 TUESDAY. AUGUST 6. 1991 SlG! T ITT r- H iL JLJi Weber State University Ogden, Utah "A level field" JPOST Affirmative action acts to create opportunities for all ByJim Sawdey Editof-ln-chlefof The Signpost Affirmative action is used as a scapegoat or whipping boy by conservatives who think that minorities and women hired through affirmative action aren't qualified for the jobs they receive. But that's not how affirmative action works, said Barry Gomberg, Weber State Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity representative. WSU currently doesn't have the appropriate percentage of minorities and women faculty and staff members as compared to Northern Utah's demographics. The campus has set goals but hasn't met them yet. Affirmative action is a means to bring parity to the campus work force, Gomberg said. But affirmative action has an undeserved bad name, he said. "I think the notion that affirmative action means less qualified' is widespread and inaccurate. People equate it with reverse discrimination and passing over for less qualified (applicants). But we - -. ..-..--. -. ' l f. .-if,- 4 ,- - -.. ' 1 i - " ' :, ...... .. . . , . .... Heritage in motion Patti O'Neil, a Minority Lectureship Program participant, uses modern dance to express her cultural heritage. O'Neil will teach on campus for a year as part of the lectureship program. don't do that," he said. "We have a history of discrimination that stratifies society. Affirmative action tends to level the playing field that gives white males the competitive edge. As soon as you achieve your goals, af firmative action has done its job," he said. Weber State avoids passing over the most qualified person by "aggressive recruiting methods to entice these people to apply," he said. "If enough women and minorities apply for a position, they are more likely to beat out white male competition. If they are still less qualified, the white male will get the job," Gomberg said. Gomberg wouldn't say how close Weber is to complying with affirmative action guidelines. He said that releasing documents showing where WSU wants to be and where it is would invite trouble. "We have not published the list yet. We consider it confidential. Employers have tended to be concerned about publicizing what they have determined to be their under-utilization. People may improperly infer one of two things: willful discrimination that led to that ur..er utilization, or as evidence (for a lawsuit) by disgruntled applicants who did not secure a position," he said. "We can do better," he said. Ruben Jimenez, Utah Director for Hispanic Affairs, agrees that businesses and institutions can do better. "My personal opinion is (minorities) are very much under represented in all areas in the state especially Hispanics," Jimenez said. Some groups are having more success than Hispanics. "Culturally, we're not as aggressive as other groups might be. see Action page 2 WSU minority leadership program helps diversify faculty By Jim Sawdey Editor-ln-chlef of The Signpost You wouldn't normally think sitology have anything remotely in common with each other, but a connection exists. The connection is with the people who teach them rather than in the subjects. This year two people with widely diverse backgrounds will be sharing their knowledge, acting as role models and introducing the uninitiated to different cultures. The WSU Minority Lectureship Program has hired two black women to come on campus and teach in their respective fields of expertise. Sherry Courtney, a parasite ecolo-gist, and Patti O'Neal, a modern dance artist, competed nationally with other minorities for their positions on campus. They will teach for a year, as will a third professor for the psychology department. The Minority Lectureship Program is a voluntary part of WSU's affirmative action program. It is intended to bring minorities to campus to gain experience teaching, and to share their knowledge and unique culture with the university, said Barry Gomberg, affirmative action representative on campus. "The position is offered from one to three quarters to bring in on a temporary basis members of minorities from around the country to expose them to Weber State University," Gomberg said. Courtney received her Ph.D in zoology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1988. She said the intent of the program is to diversify the faculty. She has been working at Utah State University and for the Utah Fish and Wildlife Service. Now she plans to teach. She's sold on the lectureship program, she said. "It's good because you come for nine months and it's like an extended interview. You spend an additional year showing what you can do," she said. Many barriers exist for minorities and women who know they are qualified for job openings, but for various reasons, their resumes don't measure up. "People are selected by faculty just on the basis of their resumed You'll hear they can't find qualified people. But the advertised position and the actual job description aren't the same," she said. The lectureship program helps break some of those barriers. Culturally, it breaks other barriers. When students and faculty see for the first time a black woman teaching natural sciences, they know that others with similar backgrounds can follow, said Gomberg. Culture is the major concern of Patti (See Program page 4) , ,,,....,,,.. ...... M,. ,. , , .... . Mtnii.., .nil i m .i.wt..w'WwK.J News 4 WSU engineering departments to consolodate. Entertainment 5 UMT final production: Gershwin's "My One and only." Sports 7 Cats prepare for season opener in football camp. New Union Building director hired, first director since J. Farrell Shepherd retired in 1982 By B. A. Bridenbecker News Editor of The Signpost A new Union Building director has been hired, the first to fill the position since 1982. Mike Ellis, formerly the assistant director of the University ofMaryland-College Park unionbuilding, hasbeen hired to fill the position vacated by J. Farrell Shepherd.Ellis said that the U of M is an 80 percent commuter college, so it does have some of the same characteristics as WSU. He said that he is sensitive to the needs of students who live off campus and would like to develop projects that would get the students involved in campus life. "One of the hopes that we ha ve is for every person to know that they are important to us," Ellis said. Shepherd said, "The union is a place for leisure time activities for all students and guests of the campus. It's the informal education a student gets when they deal with other people." "The union is a place for leisure time activiteis for all students and guests of the campus. It's the informal education a student gets when they deal with other people. " J. Farrell Shepherd Ellis said that he would like to have some activities that even the busiest person could stop and look at for a few minutes. "It could be a graffitti board that has a question. Everyone would be invited to write on it." Ellis said that his top priority is to review the UB advisory board. Theboard represents all students and he would like the board to demographically represent all groups. Other priorities include making clear the policies and procedures of the UB and to complete UB renovations. Dean of Student Life Lee Peters, said that the job has actually been done by various other positions since Shepherd left. According to Peters, Carl Wood was the assistant director of the UBand fulfilled those duties until he took an early retirement in 1988. He was not replaced and the responsibilities were taken over by the former dean, Rick Sline. When Peters was hired as dean of the UB, he spent a lot of time evaluating what was needed. "I felt we had to get back to a union director," Peters said. He evaluated what was needed for five months. In January he submitted his proposal and it was approved by the President's Council in February. Former UB director Shepherd was originally hired in 1946 as manager of the bookstore. When the UB was completed in 1961, it was named after him. He was appointed UB director and held that position until 1982 when he retired.
|Title||Signpost (Weber, Utah), 1991-08-06, Vol. 52, No. 8|
|Creator||Weber State University|
|Contributors||Associated Students of Weber State University; A generous grant from the Utah State Library and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.|
|Description||Weber's current student newspaper, the Signpost, first appeared on September 29, 1937. For two years prior to that time, campus news was disseminated via announcements posted on a bulletin board known as the "Signpost". As a result, the masthead of the first issue of the paper itself featured a rudimentary wooden sign with the title spelled out in rustic-looking letters. Over the years the paper has been published continuously, though the look, size and style has changed several times.|
|Subject||College student newspapers and periodicals; Weber State University|
|Publisher Digital||Stewart Library, Weber State University|
|Source||University Archives LD5893.W55 S5, Stewart Library, Weber State University|
|Rights Management||Public Domain. Courtesy of University Archives, Stewart Library, Weber State University.|