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August 9, 2013

Students develop new Purdue creed to support, promote diversity

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The first draft of a new Purdue creed, created by students to support and give voice to the university's values and diversity, will be shared Sunday (Aug. 11) during Boiler Gold Rush opening ceremonies.

"The Purdue Creed" will be read by Kyle Pendergast, Purdue Student Government president, during the New Student Induction Ceremony at 8:30 p.m. in the Elliott Hall of Music. Purdue President Mitch Daniels and Tim Sands, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost, also will make remarks.

The statement will be posted online at https://www.purdue.edu/b-involved/ so that students, faculty or staff can use their Purdue career accounts to log on and submit feedback. The first draft also will be posted at the https://www.purdue.edu next week. The goal is to have a final creed by Homecoming on Sept. 28.

"These words are from Purdue students working together to define who we are and who we want to be," said Carol Ben-Davies, assistant dean of students for diversity and inclusion outreach. "Motivation for creating this creed is from some sad and unfortunate events last spring that reminded us we still have work to do as a campus community.

"Students are leading the effort to unite us. More than 184 students provided feedback over the summer, and a smaller group of student leaders helped draft the creed to get us started. This is a work in progress, and we look forward to even more students participating this fall."

The effort to develop the creed began when students representing the Purdue Anti-Racism Coalition met with Daniels in the spring to discuss tolerance and diversity on campus. One of the needs indentified from that meeting was a statement of values for Purdue, Ben-Davies said. Since then, students began working with Purdue Student Government and its Presidents Roundtable to develop the creed. Purdue administration, as well as leaders representing the University Senate, Administrative and Professional Staff Advisory Committee, and Clerical and Service Staff Advisory Committee, have pledged their support.

"It really represents how we feel about being a Boilermaker," said Ian Brown, a senior studying management who is the chair of the Boiler Gold Rush student orientation committee. He has been involved with the creed development as students responded this summer with feedback to the first draft. "Integrity, inclusion, respect, innovation and honor were the five themes that students definitely felt should be a part of the creed. Students said these are the top things they think of when they think of Purdue."

Student representatives from the Presidents Roundtable will work on incorporating future student feedback and maintaining "The Purdue Creed." There are 40 student groups represented on the Presidents Roundtable, which is coordinated through Purdue Student Government to help address campus and student issues. The Asian American Association, Black Student Union, Grand Prix Foundation, Panhellenic Association, Purdue Engineering Student Council, Purdue Dance Marathon and Purdue Student Union Board are some of the groups represented on the Presidents Roundtable.

"The next step is to live the creed, and our student leaders will develop promotions and programs to celebrate the creed," Ben-Davies said. "We are very proud of the students who are working together to ensure we are a campus of integrity, respect and honor."

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723, apatterson@purdue.edu

News Service contact: Greg McClure, 765-496-9711, gmcclure@purdue.edu

Sources:  Carol Ben-Davies, 765-494-9028, cbd@purdue.edu

Ian Brown, brown384@purdue.edu