Summer Steering Group for Promoting Diversity
Meeting Notes
June 21, 1999
(notes by A. Leavitt)

Participants:  see list at end of notes

Discussion Items

1.  Introductions

2.  Brief history of spring events:  e-mail in PPPM class, other student experiences – felt these incidents are not isolated or uncommon (racism, sexism, homophobia, etc…); sit-in; students proposals of short and long-term goals;  work groups gathered to brainstorm reactive and proactive strategies; proposal for summer internships.

3. Where we are at this point.  President’s office to support 10 summer diversity interns; diverse group of people interested in continuing dialogue and staying connected over the summer.  This group could help support the interns; perhaps some could act as mentors for them.  Hopefully some of goals/demands can be consolidated and focused; that internship work can make progress on some short-term objectives and help plan some longer term ones;  that by end of the summer we might have a set of accomplishments to report out and perhaps a “platform” or  list of longer-term objectives to take into next year.

4.  Summer diversity internships.  Dave Hubin reported on the application and selection process and introduced the 10 interns:  Roger Adkins, Nathaniel Bachelder, Jessica Billingslea, Spencer Hamlin, Jason Mak, Huy Ong, John Riordan, Missy Rock, Jennifer Rosen, Kathleen Workman.  David summarized a list of suggestions he had received as to how these interns might continue the spring initiatives in such areas as faculty diversity training (new faculty orientation, deparment meeting presentations, faculty development through TEP, a video; student diversity training (messages at IntroDUCKtion and Week of Welcome, pledge of respect, activities through OMA and multicultural center; perhaps a diversity week; review of administrative structures and support for diversity (staffing, offices, programs; review of recruitment and retention strategies for faculty, staff and students; work on conduct code and its provisions for hate speech, hate crimes, protection of free speech, etc., and involving FAC and Senate leadership in how we might examine how successfully the curriculum supports and teaches students about diversity.

5.  Discussion of our process.  Dave Frohnmayer reminded us that our process has developed momentum very quickly...resulting in some ideas like a video, a survey, internships, and perhaps eventually an institute where scholarly research and practical applications can be developed (this is a labor intensive professional task that will require seeking funding from foundations.  He pointed out that we have gone from positions and concerns to tasks, without yet exploring our interests and objectives.  To paraphrase:  We need to realize that we could have different views as to what we mean by “diversity” and perhaps different outcomes in mind; that we are a large, complex institution that, like a city, has various constituents and residents and regular student government, faculty governance, and administrative structures that need to participate in any institutional change.  He urged us to have an ongoing discussion of what our interests and objectives are and the outcomes we seek, as well as the processes we use to bring about institutional change.

6.  Group Brainstorming:  possible objectives and outcomes....this summer and beyond.  These brief notes summarize a lot of creative thinking about possible objectives, outcomes, strategies, and approaches to promoting diversity  - this summer and beyond.

 * video as an outcome - use for training - faculty; perhaps staff too; is a video as effective as actual presentations - presentations are more interactive and engaging; perhaps more effective tool, can wear out the presentors; perhaps ones already exist (UC Santa Barbara?)

 * a survey - qualitative - of our climate, attitudes, experiences with diversity.  Should we involve an outside consultant?  Would it be better to do it ourselves, consider it more a self-inventory at the department level or “mapping projects” or  “dialogues” that allow us to get the “lay of the land” and identify specific concerns.  Reminders that we need to use ourselves as resources, to remember that one size won’t fit all; to include all work groups in the community (not just faculty); consultants can’t succeed unless the community, including the “middle ground” folks - are with us and ready for change
(specific suggestion:  consider using course evaluation question as a survey tool, with proviso that need identifier for ethnicity..of respondent or instructor????)

 * messages to new students seen as a high priority - use IntroDUCKtion and Week of Welcome - ASUO plans to work with Housing on how to approach the entering students, since 80 % of housing residents are first year students.  We need to involve Orientation, Admissions, Student Life staff that have some experience with this.  We need to identify strategies we may already have that can be used...like Mia Tuan’s class that successfully engages “the middle” in dialogues.

 * this group could support the interns by acting as a Steering Group over the summer - meeting periodically as a large group and with a subset of us acting as support people for individual interns and perhaps meeting more regularly with them (it was suggested that we add to this group, perhaps including conflict resolution staff, staff from admissions, orientation, etc.

 *need to identify coalition building strategies and diversity support strategies that have been developed and proven successful other places - there may be programs, approaches, skills out there that we can utilize.  (example cited was how other institutions use housing staff who are trained and can act as facilitators or resources as residents encounter diversity).

 *the middle majority - those with stereotypes and misinformation - are an important group to target in our strategies - need to collect information on their attitudes - develop strategies for having dialogues with them - maybe use Teaching Effectiveness Program to reach them - realize that they can be our strongest allies if they become committed to diversity goals and can become very alienated if we don’t work with them with some recognition of their values/experiences and

 * need to examine our own dynamics of change - what happens that allows people (us) to change - how do we create  some “room” for individuals to experience change ...how do we then sustain change by creating some mechanisms for ongoing dialogue and some outcomes that represent a longer term “lived experience” - some time “norming”....not just “forming” new attitudes and behaviors - moving beyond “token signs” of recognition/support for diversity to new patterns of living... do we need a “PR” or “communications” intern - to think through when people’s ears are most open - who can guide or facilitate conversations?

 *concept of a “research institute” as a resource within our educational environment - to help us all develop; to explain the society we live in; to tie diversity in our society to our educational environment ...an intern could help develop this concept

  * need training for diversity facilitators.  Identify who we have; train others - learn how to use community members who come through these experiences as our allies.

 *the idea of turning “token signs” into “tools”; and of building dialogue around positive aspects of diversity - identify what can be added, rather than focusing on what is missing, concept of giving and gaining tools that will help us the rest of our life.  Need to work from a balanced perspective

 *need sustained leadership - need to identify the effective resources we already have in place (e.g. effective people and programs like Mia’s class and OMA staff and past initiatives that have been successful, as well as look at what administrative positions and additional resources we need (MCC staff, administrative staff etc.)

 * need to be examine how our curriculum provides multicultural perspectives - perhaps we need to integrate our multicultural curriculum with the more general curriculum; perhaps we need a multicultural certificate rather than just the multicultural requirements and options like Ethnic Studies

 * long term goal might be fundraising....for an institute, for additional personnel or programs; even for a center some day...Perhaps this requires dialogues that extend beyond currently enrolled students and faculty/staff to engage alumni.

 *  In summary – we brainstromed a lot of ideas and concerns as to what can be accomplished and what might be an areas we should pay attention to in order to foster as much support as possible and work towards a proactive goal of making our campus, in all of its facets, a more diverse and inclusive place.  From the above brainstorming as well as the students previous list of goals as well as Dave Hubin’s list of objectives, the intern meeting on Tuesday, June 22 is to utilize the suggestions to place the interns within different focus areas and be able to sucessfully accomplish as much as possible over the summer.

7. Next meeting time/date:
Tuesday, July 6th, 1999:  2pm in the Multicultural Center.
 

Participants:  Missy Rock, Jason Mak, Stephanie Carnahan, Anne Leavitt, Jennifer Rosen, Jessie Wofsy, Kyla Schuller, Gerry Berk, Laura Blake Jones, Lisa Foisy, Troy Franklin, Scott Allen, Mitra Anoushiravani, Wylie Chen, Paula Debiell, Spencer Hamlin, Jan Oliver, Mia Tuan, ainnbin Shiao, Mike Eyster, Shomon Shamouddin, Magid Shirzadegan, Huy Ong, Randy Choy, Dave Frohnmayer, Dave Hubin, Jessica Billingslea, Gwen Tistadt, James Florendo, Conswela Zumalt
 
 

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