The College at Brockport has heard from several members of our community asking how we are addressing concerning posts made on anonymous social media platforms such as Yik Yak.
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In the spirit of the college’s long-standing commitment to diversity and respect, we’ve taken several steps to address the roots of the problem. You’ll hear about additional actions in the coming days as well.
Let’s be clear: Hateful and hurtful messages run counter to our core values. We are taking steps to address them. But we must also not let vile sentiments spewed from behind a cloak of anonymity chart our course for us. We must continue to stand up for ourselves and build a culture of inclusion, caring, respect and support for all members of our community.
- Dec. 15 letter from President Halstead to Brockport community calling for respect and civility
- Faculty and staff met before winter break to discuss ways in which they can make a difference.
- Jan. 2 letter from Provost to Division of Academic Affairs outlining specific action items to be taken and requesting faculty input.
- March 10 President Halstead sends letter to Yik Yak's founders asking them to modify or disband their app.
- Provost met with a group of students of color to hear directly their concerns, better understand the problems that exist, and where actions need to be directed.
- Altered reporting to improve communication across divisions so that senior administration can learn about important situations more quickly.
- Results from the College’s Campus Climate Study have been received and are in the process of being evaluated/implemented.
- Provost Mary Ellen Zuckerman and student Imani Lawrence (president of The Movement) were interviewed on Connections with Evan Dawson on WXXI AM 1370 on the topic of Internet shaming.
- President Halstead and Provost Zuckerman met with the leaders of the Black Students Matter Movement on March 27.
- More than 100 students, faculty and staff met for more than 90 minutes in a session called Opening Doors Conversation on Racism & Inclusion.
- April 9 signing of a joint-resolution pledging to combat racism.
Bolstering our curriculum
- Added an additional section of Gender, Race and Class to the fall 2015 schedule.
- Working to include a module about talking across differences and cultural competence in the required freshman APS seminar. Will be in place for Fall 2015.
- The Curriculum committee of the College Senate is putting into place a process whereby diversity courses would be reviewed for adherence to the original learning outcomes.
- Sponsored participation of Professor Tom Hernandez as a New Leadership Academy Fellow, a program sponsored by the American Associate of Hispanics in Higher Education March 9-13, 2015.
- CELT workshop for faculty on Feb. 27 on “The Value of a Developmental approach to Intercultural Competence.”
Professional Development for Students, Faculty, and Staff
- January 21: Teaching and Learning Day workshop offered sessions that included “Supporting Students of Color in their College Pathways” and “Teachable Moments: Ferguson, Yik Yak and Charlie Hebdo as Catalysts for Critical Thinking.”
- January 21: Directors in the Division of Student Affairs received training focused on equity, diversity, and inclusion.
- January 22: Collaborative training for student employees in multiple areas from National Coalition Building Institute. NCBI’s mission is to help eliminate prejudice and intergroup conflict in communities across the world.
- March 12-13: Hosted a workshop for concerned students entitled “Towards a More Inclusive Campus: Opening Doors Conversations.” As a step in moving from conversation to action, The College arranged for nationally known facilitators from Opening Doors to come to campus to facilitate conversations amongst students interested in working towards a more inclusive community. This process will include developing an action plan to present to faculty and staff. An intensive session for faculty training is being planned for the summer with the same facilitators running the student workshops.
- March 4: BSG sponsored a lecture and breakout sessions “Leon Williams Presents ‘Bias in the Face of Diversity."
- March 9: CELT Faculty member Jennifer Ratcliff and Assistant Provost for Diversity Joel Frater led a discussion on “Making Diversity a Priority: Expectations for Faculty Development.”
- March 26-28: Two Student Affairs staff members will attend an Association of American Colleges and Universities workshop entitled, “Diversity, Learning, and Student Success: Assessing and Advancing Inclusive Excellence.”
- April 23: Faculty members Megan Obourne and Jessica Sniatecki will lead a discussion on “Creating a Trans* Inclusive College Campus.”
- We are designing a new year-long orientation session for new faculty which will include training on cultural awareness and sensitivity.
Student Affairs Initiatives
- Revised Housing Application to better promote our gender inclusive housing options.
- Conducting a housing equity study to determine if there are policies and procedures in place that have a disparate impact on different groups of students in reference to their placement.