As we come to the close of the fall semester, I’d like to highlight the latest diversity and inclusion efforts across the college. This is our second issue. If you missed the update last spring, please see our Spring 2016 issue here.
We have continued to build on the work started in response to student discussions at the January 2016 Town Hall meeting.
- The Intercultural Advancement Office at the IRC has become the Office of Multicultural Engagement (OME).
- Pete Curry is now the Dean of Community Based Organizations/ First Year Mentoring Project.
- Monique Gore is now the Director of Multicultural Programming and Outreach.
- A new Executive Director position has been added. Dr. Darrien Davenport was hired and began work last month. He previously served as the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs at York College.
- The OME office will relocate to 102 W. Water St., formerly known as the Phi Psi House, in the upcoming year. The new space will provide enhanced classroom, lounge, administrative and social space.
- A post-election resource tab has been added to the Diversity & Inclusion homepage. Here you will find communication, event listings, and other resources valuable to our community.
- Tiffany Lane was hired as the new director of the Office of LGBTQA Advocacy and Education. She previously worked at Minnesota State University, Mankato as the Assistant Director of the LGBT Center.
- The College added an accessible van to its transportation fleet; the new vehicle accommodates 15 passengers, including two spaces for wheelchairs. The new vehicle will support both shuttle and charter service and eliminates our reliance on rentals when an accessible vehicle is needed.
- The Majestic has undergone structural changes for increased accessibility.
- The College revised its Mission Statement and Values to include “The Commitment to a diverse and inclusive learning environment.”
- The Spoken Word Series has allowed many students to explore “complex issues of identity, culture, and politics shaping the African American presence in American society.”
- The College’s Professional Development Committee created a year-long Spotlight Series geared toward Diversity & Inclusion professional development and learning opportunities for employees. The fall schedule included the Cornell Interactive Theater Ensemble, a group of professional actors and facilitators who use theatre to help explore issues of diversity and inclusion in a safe and open forum; Bystander Intervention Training; and a session entitled A Walk Around Campus. Additionally, the Global Gettysburg Series was created this academic year for students, faculty and employees. This series of internationally themed events is taking place throughout the fall and spring semesters with the aim of promoting global awareness through better understanding of people, cultures, and systems from around the world.
- The Professional Development Committee is now working on the Spring schedule of activities, which will include a “Building an Inclusive Search” program for hiring managers and supervisors, Safe Zone Training, and a Social Justice Activity.
- The Bias Response Team created last semester is now the Bias Awareness Resource Committee (BARC). BARC is charged with reviewing bias incident reports and implementing strategies to educate, strengthen, and support the campus community when such incidents occur.
- The college has finalized its new strategic plan with Inclusion and Internationalization as one of three themes along with Impact and Innovation.
I also want to call your attention to three continued areas of focus:
The Climate Study
Forty percent of students, 54% of faculty, 52% of staff and 76% of administrators participated in the survey. Sue Rankin of Rankin & Associates presented the climate study results on September 8. Next Steps:
- By Nov. 19: Discussion and recommendation forums held separately around campus with each group.
- End of Fall Semester: Presentation to the President’s Council of the most important issues and suggestions identified by the Gettysburg College community.
- End of 2016-17 school year: Plans and actions initiated in response to the Campus Climate Survey findings.
The Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI)
Since we rolled out the assessment in the fall of 2015, over 550 students, faculty, and staff have either taken or started the process of taking the assessment, including residence life staff, Greek Life organization leaders, and academic departments. We now have a group of 27 qualified administrators. If you have not done so already, you are encouraged to take the IDI as a team and/or department.
Inclusion Action Plans (IAPs)
Drafts of Divisional Inclusion Action Plans were developed in consultation with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion last summer. Divisions are now reviewing Climate Study results to identify issues that can be addressed within their IAPs. Target date for finalizing written plans is December 2016.
Please be sure to share your own updates with us so we can publish them in our spring email.
Thank you for your continued support and engagement.
Jeanne J. Arnold Chief Diversity Officer
- Africana Studies celebrated its 30th Anniversary.
- Delfeayo Marsalis performed at the Sunderman Conservatory.
- To facilitate ongoing discussion about diversity and inclusion, the library hosted several book discussions for students, faculty, administration, and staff on Citizen by Claudia Rankine.
- The Women's and LGBTQA Resource Center & Musselman Library have created a discussion group.
- The Martin Luther King, Jr. community celebration is Monday, Jan. 23, 2017, at 7pm in the Chapel.
- On November 14, Castle of Our Skins performed “Oh, Freedom!”, an adaptation of a concert event held in June 2015 at the Museum of African American History in Boston, MA.
- The ADA Committee has been reorganized and is focused on the following accessibility priorities:
- Conducting a facilities accessibility assessment over the next two years, which will result in a revised long-term campus accessibility plan.
- Developing an accessibility plan for the College’s web site and related systems.
- Reviewing the College’s current decentralized approach to ADA and developing a more collaborative and user friendly approach related to accessibility.
Have something else to share? Suggestions for information you’d like to see in the next email update? Email firstname.lastname@example.org