In this issue:
Dear campus community,
We have reached the end of an academic year like none we have ever experienced. Campus is beginning to show signs of “normal” life and we are looking forward to being back together in the fall semester. The diversity and inclusion efforts at the College have continued to progress during this pandemic. You can view previous newsletters on our website.
- The 4th Annual Peace and Justice Studies Week - “A Call to College Students: Political and Community Engagement”
This interactive, week-long series was held in January and provided opportunities for students to hear from and engage with guest speakers from Duke University, The Women’s March, Youth Over Guns and our own Center for Public Service student leadership committee. Co-sponsors of the event were: the Provost’s Office, Africana Studies, Center for Public Service, Civil War Institute, Education, Eisenhower Institute, Garthwait Leadership Center, History, Office of Diversity & Inclusion, Office of Multicultural Education, Philosophy, Political Science, Public Policy, Sociology, Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies, Black Student Union, Latin American Student Association.
- The Office of Multicultural Engagement (OME) celebrated Black History Month in February with a multitude of programs including Black HIV Awareness; Queer Black & Proud; Race, Community and Memory in Gettysburg with John Rudy ’07; First and Phinest: History of Black Greeks Featuring Jeanne Arnold and Darrien Davenport; Black Greek Organizations Alumni Panel; and Investigating the Sexual Development and Sexual Attitudes of African American Women. Social gatherings included movie nights, Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras events as well as a pop-up Paint Night.
- The Office of Sexual Respect and Title IX, along with the Women’s Center Student Program Coordinators, acknowledged Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April, by providing a variety of programs and events for the campus community. The month began with Sexual Misconduct and Title IX Mythbusters, an interactive program that tested the knowledge of attendees on what resources, procedural options, and campus climate surround sexual misconduct. Then there was Sex Discussed Here!—a program sponsored by the Women’s Center Program Coordinators featuring a pair of sex educators who shared their knowledge and answered questions from the participants on what they did not learn in high school sex education, The Office of Sexual Respect and Title IX hosted a resource panel, featuring on- and off-campus, confidential resources for those who have experienced sexual misconduct or relationship violence. Take Back The Night Week was held to close out the month and featured Katie Koestner, the first woman to speak nationally about date rape, followed by a Day of Healing with various events focused on healing after trauma including meditation with Counseling Services, processing trauma with Religious and Spiritual Life and yoga in person with Campus Rec and virtually with Students Against Sexual Assault. The campus participated in the national movement of Denim Days on April 28th, bringing the entire campus community together to wear their denim to protest the misconceptions that surround sexual violence. Finally, the Interfraterniy Council, Panhellenic Council and the Office of Sexual Respect and Title IX hosted poster-making to conclude Take Back The Night programming. Take Back The Night was sponsored by the Women’s Center and the Office of Sexual Respect and Title IX, featured remarks from President Iuliano, a march through campus, a Speak Out, and ended with a candlelight vigil for those who have lost their lives due to sexual and relationship violence.
- Reflections on the Atlanta Murders: In March, following the Atlanta shootings in which eight people were murdered (six of the victims were of Asian descent and two were white), a candlelight vigil, organized by the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life, was held at the Peace Pole in remembrance of the victims. This shooting took place amid a wave of anti-Asian hate crimes in the United States. College Chaplain Elizabeth Eckman and Muslim Student Associate Advisor Niamate Leeper provided a safe space to share via Zoom and in-person for anyone who identifies as Asian, Asian-American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) to join them in sharing their feelings, fears and thoughts following this horrific event. Raksmeymony (Rex) Yin ’14 facilitated a Community Support Dialogue on AAPI Issues which provided a space to reflect and share concerns about the alarming number of attacks (over 3,000) on the AAPI community since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
- Asian American Pacific Islander Month was recognized in April with various programming and events including The Impact of Covid-19 on Asian-Americans and Poetry Night featuring William Nu’utupu Giles. Later in the month, freelance photojournalist Eric Lee ’15 presented his project “Who We Really Are,” which explores masculinity, gender, race, and Asian-American identity, in an event sponsored by Peace and Justice Studies, East Asian Studies and Cinema and Media Studies.
- The Office of LGBTQIA+ Life celebrated their Lavender Graduation on May 6th in The Attic. The graduation is conducted to honor LGBTQA+ students and acknowledge their accomplishments and contributions.
Campus Climate Study
Question development is complete and preparations are being made for the release of our second Study during the fall 2021 semester. Once the Study is administered and submissions are received, our Climate Study Consultant, Sue Rankin, will present the findings to the campus community.
The Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI)
Please keep in mind that the IDI is available any month of the calendar year. While it’s preferable to take it with a group or department, individual requests will be accommodated whenever possible.
Multiple student groups and Alumni committees, as well as faculty committees and departments have participated in the IDI this spring. Upon receiving their individual results, many have also opted to participate in the group feedback session in order to help them work better together in creating a more inclusive working and learning space. This semester alone, we have issued 234 IDI assessments, bringing our total IDIs processed since 2015 to just over 1,800. 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.
Bias Awareness Resource Committee (BARC) Report
Keeping on pace with President Iuliano’s next steps for the institution, BARC has been meeting to plan the implementation of bias awareness educational opportunities for the fall semester. Inclusion Action Plans (IAPs) have been submitted from each division and will be posted on the D&I website this summer. Several departments have also submitted their individual diversity statements/action plans.
We are proud to announce a new endowed faculty prize at Gettysburg College: The Bruce S. Gordon ’68 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Teaching Excellence Prize. The prize is named in honor of Trustee Emeritus Bruce Gordon, a Class of 1968 graduate of the College and civil rights activist, who served as president and CEO of the NAACP.
The prize, which will be awarded for the first time next fall, was funded by a diverse group of alumni, hailing from classes of the 1960s through the 1990s, who hope to cultivate the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus through this distinctive award.
Approximately $1,250 per year will be awarded each fall to a faculty member who stands out as having advanced a campus climate that is supportive of differences in the classroom and beyond. Recipients will be selected by the Provost and Academic Division Deans in collaboration with the Chief Diversity Officer. All full-time faculty who have taught at the College for a minimum of three years are eligible. The successful nominee will have contributed substantially to inclusion at the College, and their teaching activities will have fostered awareness about diversity issues and will have promoted cultural competence. The extent to which the nominee’s teaching activities have advanced a campus environment that is welcoming and supportive of differences—whether it be cultural, ethnic, racial, class, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, language, or persons with disabilities—will be an important consideration.
Thank you, Gettysburg
It has been an honor to serve as the inaugural Chief Diversity Officer for the College! As I reflect on my nearly seven years in this role, I am confident that the development and implementation of a robust foundation for diversity and inclusion work has been accomplished. As a community, we have institutionalized the Climate Study process, the Inclusion Partner Program, cultural competency development through the use of the IDI, the work of BARC and the Inclusion Action Planning process. In addition, we collaborated with the Provost’s office to establish the College’s first Ombuds position, worked in partnership with the Board of Trustees to establish the Diversity & Inclusion Subcommittee and implemented a search waiver process to assist with hiring and retaining diverse faculty. In support of our students, we secured approval for a new joint chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Finally, we initiated this bi-annual newsletter which now serves as a repository of college-wide D&I work.
I wish of you the best as you build out the current foundation of D&I infrastructure to more fully support the demands of creating and sustaining the most inclusive environment possible.
Jeanne J. Arnold
Chief Diversity Officer
Other notable stories from campus:
- Conversations Beneath the Cupola podcast Episode 19: The power of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s words with Profs. Jennifer Bloomquist and McKinley Melton
- Conversations Beneath the Cupola podcast Episode 21: Empowering women on and off the field with Carol Cantele ‘83
- Environmental lawyer Men of Color Project founder Julius Redd ’07 helps corporations operate with environmental justice in mind
- Signs of change: From yard signs to wayfinding signage, Gettysburgians are stirring important dialogues about black history on and off the battlefield
- Monique Gore ’06 sews homemade masks for students; sets an example of leading with compassion
- TEDxYouth speaker Elijah Jones ’24 advocates for diversity, inclusion and kindness in education
- Hakim Williams earns competitive Fulbright U.S. Scholars Award
- Walking the talk: How a beloved admissions counselor used drag as a pathway toward inclusion and belonging
- Student-faculty book project evaluates women’s history through a modern lens
- Gettysburgians shine light on black Americans buried at Lincoln Cemetery
- Art as activism: Schmucker Art Gallery exhibits explore how art has been a canvas for change throughout history
- Gina Velasco’s new book examines representations of the Filipino/a diaspora
Community Escort Team (CET) is a new initiative designed to provide students and staff who aren’t interested in a uniformed escort from DPS the opportunity to receive a peer escort on and around campus. For example, a student who may not feel comfortable walking to Kennie’s Market in town alone could email Faith Biesecker during business hours and 24 hours in advance of their trip and request an escort from a fellow student or campus community member. Anyone who is interested in volunteering to be a community escort can email Faith Biesecker, Assistant Director for Community Engagement at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In preparation of the Chauvin Trial verdict for the murder of George Floyd, President Iuliano provided support and resources for the campus community, especially our black and underrepresented students, faculty and staff. The Student Senate organized a gathering at the Peace Pole for reflection and solidarity.
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