The Minority Rights Coalition ended its recruitment process for members of new committees earlier this month and is now interviewing potential new members for the organization. These newly formed special committees will provide services to the general student body. The MRC works to improve understanding of minority statuses, including differing ethnic, gender or sexual orientations, said Chair Haya Yaish, a fourth-year College student. “Surprisingly, the pool of applicants was very diverse and come from different facets of the University so we’re very pleased that students from different areas and demographics are interested,” Yaish said. The MRC consists of members from the Asian Student Union, American Indian Student Union, Black Student Alliance, Feminism is for Everyone, Latino Student Alliance, Middle Eastern Leadership Council and the Queer Student Union. Presidents from each of the seven organizations comprise the organization’s governing body. Yaish said she was surprised by the diversity of applicants for the different committee positions. “Surprisingly, the pool of applicants was very diverse and come[s] from different facets of the University,” Yais said. “So we’re very pleased that students from different areas and demographics are interested.” LSA President Karla Castro, a fourth-year College student, said the expanded MRC would better represent University students’ broad range of ideas. “The MRC constituent groups are incredibly diverse within themselves,” Castro said in an email. “Sure, the presidents try their best to represent their groups, but one individual is by no means the speaker for hundreds of students.” Castro said the the change would allow the MRC to better perform its own activities, but would not diminish its ability to promote the events its member organizations run. “The town hall event from the fall was extremely successful,” Castro said. “I still hear people talk about it. Those types of conversations need to keep happening all across Grounds so we are all more understanding and accepting of all student experiences, not just the perceived dominant narrative of what a ‘typical’ U.Va. student is like.” Castro said the primary mission of the MRC remains activism on behalf of marginalized parts of the student community. “MRC is political in that we promote solidarity, raise awareness and strive for action and change at same time,” Castro said. “We unite over shared opinions against exclusion, hate, racism, unbalanced exposure, funds, perceptions, etc., not just because we’re ‘different’ from the mainstream.” The MRC will hold interviews for its executive committee positions in March.