Spring 2020 newsletter

Dear campus community,

As this most challenging spring semester comes to a close, we hope that you and your families are doing well. While our time together on campus was cut short by the pandemic, we continued our focus on diversity and inclusion efforts to the greatest extent possible. You can view previous newsletters on our website.

Programmatic Highlights

We Shall Overcome: A Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

The community’s 40th anniversary of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration was held at the Majestic Theater. A free concert, “We Shall Overcome- A Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” produced with music by Damien Sneed, was inspired by the words and actions of Dr. King. The production showcased a repertoire from across African American music traditions that electrified generations of civil rights activists and defenders.

The event was co-sponsored by Gettysburg’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Committee, the President’s office, Diversity & Inclusion, Office of Multicultural Engagement (OME), College Life, and the Majestic Theater. Gettysburg College Choirs, under the direction of Sunderman Conservatory of Music Professor Dr. Robert Natter, also performed during the program.

Reading Without Walls

A three-part reading challenge for students and employees was launched by the Musselman Library. The program challenged students and employees to choose titles that encourage exploration of new ideas and perspectives. We asked participants to: read a book about someone from a background different from their own; read a book about an unfamiliar topic; and to read a book in an unfamiliar format (graphic novel, audiobook, poetry, etc.). Reading without Walls also held other events including a silent reading party, speed dating with a book, and discussion groups.

Masks of Oppression

A collaboration between the community and the College presented stories about bias and racism in the Black Box Theatre. Stories were collected from the community and were staged as monologues under the direction of Lisa Cadigan utilizing both student and community performers. The project was initiated by members of the Middle East Justice & Peace Group of South Central PA and the YWCA.

White Faces, Black Spaces

An open conversation on the meaning of ‘Black spaces’ (e.g. clubs, college houses, departments, etc.) and the relationship to white students was held. The event was sponsored by the Diaspora House, Mosaic House/OME, and the Black Student Union (BSU).

Lunar New Year

In an event sponsored by the Chinese Students and Scholars Association and the Vietnamese Student Association, students celebrated Lunar New Year, honoring the Year of the Rat, with food and music.

Chinatown Rising

A screening of Chinatown Rising was held as part of Gettysburg College’s Third Annual Peace and Justice Week. Set against the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement, Chinatown Rising is a documentary film about young Asian-American residents on the front lines of their historic neighborhood in transition in San Francisco. Sponsored by Peace and Justice Studies.

Pride and Coffee

An event in partnership with Eighty Two Café presented an opportunity for Queer people to come together and socialize in an alcohol-free environment. The event was open to the campus and the community.

Our Voices are Vibrant 2020

The official transition away from the traditional Vagina Monologues was sponsored by the Women’s Center. The performance was designed to create a platform in which the valuable voices of Gettysburg College students are elevated and celebrated, highlighting a diversity of perspectives from students who identify as women/womxn, femme, gender-fluid, LGBTQIA+, and/or non-binary. The performance showcased original pieces about significant gender-related experiences, stories, and reflection—all written and performed by Gettysburg students.

Transgender Day of Visibility

The Office of Multicultural Engagement and LGBTQIA+ Life invited the Campus to raise overall awareness for the trans community by posting hashtag #TransResistance or #TDOV to elevate trans accomplishments.

Covid-19 Resources for the Undocumented Community

The Office of Multicultural Engagement made resources available including National Healthcare by State and By Category & State: Medical, Food, Financial, Etc. for the undocumented community.

Continuing Work:

Campus Climate Study:

The Campus Climate Study Implementation Group (CCSIG) is preparing a detailed timeline for the next Climate Study Survey to be conducted in Spring 2021.

The Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI):

Over 80 faculty, staff, and students have been issued an IDI assessment since the fall of 2019. Since rolling out the assessment in 2015, over 1,400 members of the college community have either taken the IDI or started the process. Ten additional Qualified Administrators were trained in January 2020. 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.

Thank you for your continued support and engagement.


Jeanne J. Arnold

Chief Diversity Officer

Read more notable updates and stories from campus below: