Dear campus community,
As the fall semester comes to a close, I’d like to share the latest diversity and inclusion efforts and accomplishments with you. You can view previous newsletters on our website.
Presidential Student Advisory Group:
President Iuliano launched a new advisory group for Student Inclusion and Belonging. Students will serve a one-year appointment and engage in discussions about the experiences of students who are members of underrepresented groups on campus. Chaired by the President, the Advisory Group meets monthly.
Communications from the President:
President Iuliano sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other House and Senate leaders urging Congress to support the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy.
In November, President Iuliano sent a letter to the campus community in response to “incidents where students or an alumnus have reported that racial slurs had been targeted at them by current Gettysburg students.” He emphasized that “Acts of racism have no place at Gettysburg College.”
First Scholar’s Program:
The Office of Multicultural Engagement (OME) continues their campaign to highlight First Generation Students, staff and faculty. As a new addition to this endeavor, the office has initiated a First Scholar’s program. The First Scholar’s program pairs returning students with incoming first-years to enhance their campus experience. Students are invited to campus for pre-orientation to explore the many resources our campus offers. The goal of this initiative is to help create a greater sense of belonging.
Student Pronouns on Class and Advising Rosters:
In support of ongoing efforts to create a more inclusive campus culture, Gettysburg College students now have the option of selecting their pronouns to appear on course and advising rosters. We have asked all faculty to use these pronouns, along with a student’s preferred name, which may differ from what is listed on their legal documents. Gettysburg College community members have the right to change their preferred name and pronouns at any point. Approximately 1/3 of the student body chose to share their pronouns this semester. Some students chose two sets of pronouns. This means they use either set of pronouns displayed.
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grant for $800,000 to Support Faculty Diversity Initiatives in the Humanities:
Profs. Aristides Dimitriou (English), Aarón Lacayo (Spanish), Kalyan Nadiminti (English), Yoko Nishimura (East Asian Studies), and Mercedes Valmisa (Philosophy) are Mellon Faculty Fellows, a program that provides financial support and research opportunities to diverse faculty as they acclimate to tenure track positions during their first year of employment. One Mellon Fellow position remains.
Curricular development grants were awarded to humanities faculty to substantially revise existing courses or create new courses that demonstrate the incorporation of diversity and inclusion issues.
Humanities faculty attended the Teaching Professors Workshops, the Intercultural Communication Institute, and the Association of American Colleges & Universities’ Diversity, Learning, and Student Success conference.
Other programmatic highlights from the fall semester:
Know Your Rights- As An Ally:
This program provided participants with the opportunity to examine their privilege and identify ways to assist the undocumented community in addressing human rights abuses.
The History of Immigration:
A panel discussion was held on the history of immigration in the United States through the lens of different disciplines.
Day of Action- ‘I stand with Immigrants’ National Campaign:
Students joined in solidarity to provide support to the immigrant community by wearing shirts to promote awareness.
This clothing and accessory closet was created for students who are transitioning or are non-gender conforming and gender fluid. Donations of new and gently used clothing, accessories, chest binders and shoes can be dropped off at the Office of Multicultural Engagement or the Women's & LGBTQIA Resource Center.
Third Annual Burgburst:
This fall cultural celebration featured spectacular international food and student performances. Members of the college community also carried flags of the countries they represented. View pictures from the event.
Second Annual Disability Awareness Month Program:
As part of the 2nd Annual Disability Awareness Month Program, panelists discussed the strengths and challenges of students affected by autism and how these challenges can be met to promote student success.
LatinX Poetry Night:
The campus community was invited to read their favorite poems or original pieces by LatinX and Latin American writers.
Interfaith Service of Remembrance:
The event commemorated last year’s tragic Tree of Life synagogue shooting, the Christchurch mosque shootings, and the Sri Lankan Easter bombings. The gathering mourned those lost, recommitted themselves to peace and justice, and shared hope for the future. People of all religious backgrounds, or no religious background, were invited to attend.
The College’s Professional Development Committee’s Fall 2019 Spotlight Series:
Opportunities offered this semester included:
- Echoes from Past/African-American Voices at Gettysburg-Walking Tour of Downtown Gettysburg with Deb McCauslin
- Tour of the African American Heritage Museum in Washington, DC
- Why Jazz Matters: The Legacy of Satchmo, Duke, & Miles.
The Long Road to LGBTQ+ Equality in Pennsylvania Exhibit
The Long Road to LGBTQ+ Equality in Pennsylvania is a traveling history exhibit that chronicles the efforts that activists have undertaken in Pennsylvania to achieve full equality for LGBTQ+ people. The exhibit uses case studies of several cities and townships to highlight the political struggles and personal stories. The exhibit debuted this year, the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising, a pivotal event in the LGBTQ+ movement toward equality. The exhibit was organized by the LGBT Central PA History Project and sponsored by the PA LGBT History Network.
Campus Climate Study:
The Campus Climate Study Implementation Group (CCSIG) continued to follow through on its recommendation to President’s Council that a review of support staff wages be incorporated into the charge of the Benefits Advisory committee (BAC). BAC’s charge has been expanded to study the issue and a representative of CCSIG has been added to the committee. BAC will report its findings to President Iuliano.
CCSIG also partnered with the Eisenhower Institute to host A Better Angels Workshop: How to talk across the political divide. This session focused on how to have civil and productive political conversations that clarify differences, search for common ground, and affirm the importance of relationships with colleagues, family, and friends.
The Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI):
An additional 107 faculty, staff, and students have been issued an IDI assessment since the spring of 2019. Special thanks to President Iuliano for taking the IDI during his first semester in office! Since rolling out the assessment in 2015, over 1,330 members of the college community have either taken the IDI or started the process. If you have not done so already, you are strongly encouraged to take the IDI as a team, group and/or department; please complete this request form to get started.
Inclusion Action Plans (IAPs)
Since the conclusion of our formal IAP process last year, President’s Council has decided to collectively focus divisional diversity and inclusion efforts in the five key areas listed below:
- Expanding/increasing the diversity of faculty, staff and students
- Improving classroom climate
- Enhancing bias incident protocols and transparency
- Addressing student concerns regarding access to co-curricular activities
- Increasing the cultural competency of faculty, staff and students.
- Progress and accomplishments in these areas will be reported in future issues of the Diversity & Inclusion Update.
Thank you for your continued support and engagement.
Jeanne J. Arnold
Chief Diversity Officer
Read more notable updates and stories from campus below:
- 3D printing the future in the Innovation and Creativity Lab
- Monae Evans ’15 Appears on National Geographic, Advocates for Criminal Justice Reform
- Connect your studies by crossing boundaries—and borders
Have something else to share? Suggestions for information you’d like to see in the next email update? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.