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Diversity grants to be given to students, staff

Students+visit+Loyola%27s+2016+country+fair+which+was+one+of+the+first+recipients+of+the+university%27s+diversity+grants.+The+%24500+grants+are+given+out+to+students+and+organizations+that+propose+events+dedicated+to+promoting+diversity+and+inclusion.
Students visit Loyola's 2016 country fair which was one of the first recipients of the university's diversity grants. The $500 grants are given out to students and organizations that propose events dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion.

Students visit Loyola's 2016 country fair which was one of the first recipients of the university's diversity grants. The $500 grants are given out to students and organizations that propose events dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion.

Students visit Loyola's 2016 country fair which was one of the first recipients of the university's diversity grants. The $500 grants are given out to students and organizations that propose events dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion.

Samuel Kahn

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Loyola is living out its Jesuit mission by handing out $500 grants to student or staff projects that address issues linked to diversity and social justice through the university’s diversity committee.

To apply for the grant, event organizers need to fill out a form available on the diversity committee website describing the event, how it is beneficial to Loyola’s diversity and inclusiveness and a detailed budget of the event.

Sybol Anderson, chief diversity officer, said that offering diversity grants for on-campus events hits at the heart of Loyola’s Jesuit mission.

“Jesuit education is characterized by its emphasis upon excellence. What is more excellent in education than encountering and learning from multiple perspectives on the world— engaging them critically and being so inspired or so challenged by their differences to one’s own cherished understandings that one is compelled to engage in self-critique and self-enlargement?” Anderson said.

Even though the grant had also been given out last year, some organizations may apply for the first time.

PLUS+, Loyola’s LGBTQ association, is a new organization on campus, and it is applying for a diversity grant in hopes of funding an on-campus drag show.

The association’s president David Collins, mass communication junior, sought advice from Anderson in order to increase the organization’s chances of earning the grant.

But while the grant is an opportunity for student associations to organize events for the first time, it is also crucial to some organizations who would not be able to fulfill their missions without it.

The country fair’s $2,500 budget cannot be met without the diversity grant since Loyola cut into the Center for International Education’s resources to save money during a period of financial instability, according to Dittmar Dittrich, assistant director for international student and scholar services.

“The Center for International Education doesn’t have a budget for entertainment,” Dittrich said. “Grants are our only option to have those events and the diversity grant is one of them.”

In addition to creating events, Anderson said that programs like the diversity grants are necessary to combat ignorance and promote understanding of others.

“There is a lot that we don’t know (I include myself) about groups that are misrepresented, and our ignorance in that sense— our lack of knowledge— often leads to the underrepresentation and marginalization of those groups in places where they ought to have fair and equitable access and treatment … such as in universities,” Anderson said.

All students and staff are eligible to apply for grants as long as their project aims to “promote understanding of diversity in the academic experience or community life of Loyola,” according to Anderson. The next deadline to apply for the grant is Tuesday, Oct. 2.

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