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Diverse Campus

Meeting on Diverse Campus

10 October 2012

Attendees: Emily Chan, Carol Emmer, Bethany Grubbs, Beth Kancilia, Hannah Kim, Phoebe Lostroh, Rochelle Mason, Lauren Nelson, Andrea Pacheco, Laura Padilla, Barry Sarchett, Fred Tinsley, Amanda Udis-Kessler, Martha Wolday, Heidi Yim, Debra Zarecky.

Extending Our Reach

Alumni: There have been increased opportunities for alumni of color to connect with students of color through new programs.

Physical location elsewhere? People seemed to agree that it should not stretch out our resources here at CC. In fact a few were adamant that not a single dollar should be taken from the main campus and used for such a project.  An option may be a study center, instead of a campus.

Baca: Possibility of better use of the Baca. Should there be a renewed investment in the Baca? It should be used for more community engagement instead of the reclusive outpost that it tends to be now.   There are definite opportunities for putting on theater shows with the community, for example.   But, it was recommended also that events have to make sure to benefit the students. The Baca could take on a service-learning component. 

Outreach to diverse communities: Make better connections with tribal colleges. The Yellow Ribbon Program. We should better educate military families because they are such an integral part of the Colorado Springs community. What types of diversity would they bring? We don’t deal with rural communities very well.

Engaged Teaching and Learning

Students: We should continue to create diverse classes and to support students once they arrive on campus. Socioeconomically, however, the class may not be very diverse. Questions exist also about how we are defining diversity; do queer students count towards diversity? We need to define diversity. There was consensus that a diverse faculty and student body are worth striving towards. Marching orders for recruiting have generally been around race and class, but it would be nice to recruit students who are consciously anti-sexist or anti-homophobic. Do we want to mirror the diversity of the Southwest? The Priddy Grant targeted students from the Southwest, but did not support our goal to increase international students.

Financial Aid: Concerns about how we budget financial aid. There is currently a cap per cohort per year; if students bring money from a private organization it goes under the fixed amount of money allocated for diversity. Model went from super flexibility to very rigid, so now would be a good time to revisit the budget.

Retention: The FYE and the Writing Center were originally put in place for retention means, supporting students in need. Bridge program and QRC were also adopted for this purpose. Are there possibilities for the Crown Faculty Center to take up the goal of inviting professors to think about how their pedagogy affects retention? We do need to look at how our infrastructure is set up to increase retention, as it seems to be a goal of the new President’s administration. There needs to be a process for elements that need to be in place to support students, like campus climate, curriculum. If this process is not in place and students voluntarily depart, then we are not achieving our goal. There is a problem regarding communication between departments and concern about adding more things for people to do.

Bridge program: Concern about feelings of segregation both permeating that group and having them permeate other groups. Could there be a “Re-bridge Program” sophomore year in order to better retain students? Sophomores could be better advised and registration might be better if after the summer.

Faculty: How diverse is our faculty? Diverse students often seek out diverse professors. Should gender identification be including as diversity with respect to faculty? It is hard to quantify. We do not want to pigeonhole our minority faculty.  For example, minorities hired to teach minority literature can often not teach Shakespeare even though that is their topic of interest.

Majors: Which departments have the most diverse graduates? We want to fight the stereotypes of what diverse students typically major in, and to challenge diverse students to be in various majors, but we have to be careful not to limit them. 

Place

Culture: There is concern about diverse students fitting into the culture of skateboarding and mountain climbing, which speaks to a more upper-class, white population; does the narrative of the “adventurousness of the Rocky Mountains” need to be changed to support students? Our minority students, especially those on aid, end up spending a lot of block breaks on campus because they either can’t afford or have no interest in the types of activities in which most students engage over block break. What alternative opportunities exist, particularly for figuring out who is available on block break and what there is to do? First-generation students have really enjoyed service trips.

Communication: There is a potential assumption these days that social media and diversity separate students; question is how you get the campus--given the block plan and how people aren’t often walking around because everyone is at class at once--to encourage people to be together in both housing and around campus.

Community: Is the block plan conducive to small, sustained communities or an entire campus community? We may have neither. We don’t have any large spaces or community events for everyone to enjoy. Can Fall Conference be applied to students? What are our traditions, and how can they be limiting to diverse students?   Are there opportunities for a senior year experience? A number of professors have tried to do a SYE. People have wondered what it would mean if we moved to a full academic year where all sophomores are required to spend the summer on campus, but concern existed about occupying the summer.