The following points of progress were announced during a community conversation on August 7. This page will be updated as progress is made.
- Formation of the advisory committee: We are in the process of selecting members of this committee, which will meet twice a month to review policies and plan programming around our efforts to build the capacity for inclusive excellence. The committee will include trustee and alumni representation and six student representatives (one for each of the four undergraduate class years, a graduate student, and a student veteran). We also will have faculty, staff, and administrator representatives from all divisions and the four schools. Members of this diverse committee will be announced soon, and will be listed at www.strose.edu/diversity. To express interest, sign up by this Monday, August 10 using the volunteer form on the diversity and inclusion website.
- Other ways to volunteer: The committee is only one way to be involved. We will engage volunteers in a variety of efforts in the coming months. There will be long-term, medium-term, and short-term work, and we will need representation across the board. Again, sign up on the diversity and inclusion website under the volunteer form.
- Revision of the bias and discrimination policy: The bias and discrimination policy is not serving our students or employees effectively. We have taken the first step to improve our processes by increasing the options for reporting a bias incident. You can see those methods on the bias and discrimination reporting page of the website. We have researched NYS and federal law, and policies at similar institutions, and a group of faculty, students, and administrators will be drafting the revised policy. Our intention is to have this new policy in place at the beginning of the semester.
- The 21 Day Equity Challenge: The United Way of the Capital Region is coordinating a 21 Day Equity Challenge, a virtual learning experience to build more effective social justice habits, particularly those dealing with issues of race, power, privilege, and leadership. Each day brings a new interactive activity, such as reading an article, listening to a podcast, watching a video, reflecting on personal experiences, and more. The challenge runs from August 10 through 31. If you miss a day, you are able to go back and review topics at any time. Students, faculty, staff, and administrators, and other members of the Saint Rose community are encouraged to participate. The President’s Cabinet has already pledged to participate. Sign up at this registration link, and indicate that you are signing up as a company. You can then list your company as The College of Saint Rose. After you have registered, please let us know by filling out this short form. This allows us to follow up with you, as we plan to organize some Saint Rose-centered conversations about the challenge experiences this fall.
- Anti-racist training: We are in the process of reviewing proposals from various anti-racist trainers, who were recommended by the American Council on Education (ACE), and we will have more information on this training soon. As I have previously stated, our entire campus community – faculty, staff, administrators, and students – will receive this training.
- The search for a director of diversity and inclusion: We are in the process of gathering students who can work with us in a national search for this position, which is a pre-existing position that has been vacant since the spring.
- Community partnership: We are proud to announce that we have partnered with the Center for Law and Justice, and the Center is providing us with a resource twice a week to assist us in our work. We are proud to say that this resource is Janay Salter, a 2020 graduate of Saint Rose and BOLD Scholar whose full-time fellowship with the Center is being funded by a BOLD grant.
- Our next meeting: On August 21 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. we will hold the College’s Fall Convocation with faculty, staff, and administrators via Zoom. The second hour of the convocation will be dedicated to building the capacity for inclusive excellence at Saint Rose. More detailed information will be sent to employees regarding the August 21 convocation. Aside from this employee-only discussion, the next conversation on diversity and inclusion for our entire community – employees, students, alumni, Saint Rose families – will take place on September 4 from noon to 1 p.m. Use this Zoom link (Passcode: Saint Rose) to access the conversation. Yolanda will send a reminder as the time nears.
The following points of progress were announced during a community conversation on July 24. This page will be updated as progress is made.
- Creation of an advisory committee: Leading the work will be an advisory committee of representatives from throughout our campus community. As I said during the meeting, the committee will be big enough to be representative and small enough to get the work done. Members will be faculty, staff, administrators, students, parents, and alumni. They will represent the various divisions at the College and the four schools. They will create a framework to begin addressing the many requests and issues raised recently by various stakeholders within our community, and will build on the work of the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force. We hope to finalize the composition of this group by the end of next week and will share the names of the representatives at www.strose.edu/diversity.
- Organizing anti-racist training: We cannot do this work until we look within and educate ourselves on how to be an anti-racist community. As the start of the semester is near, Resident Assistants (RAs) and Security will receive anti-racist training before the fall semester begins. We are currently identifying who will do the training for our entire community (students and employees), how the training will be delivered, and how we can follow through to ensure that everyone participates. The training will be delivered in a mix of modalities and formats.
- Revising the bias and discrimination reporting system: We have already changed the bias and discrimination reporting process to make it more accessible and allow for three means of reporting: anonymous, informal, and formal. You can view details on the website. Right now, the work is focused on revising the process for investigating and resolving reports. We plan to have a new process in place by the start of classes, and we will engage the community in reviewing a draft of the policy. We all must recognize that these policies are complex and involve human resources issues and laws.
- Hiring a director for diversity and inclusion: We are launching a national search for a director of diversity and inclusion. This is a pre-existing administrative position at the College that has been vacant since April 2020. The director will serve as a point person on these issues, as a resource to cultural groups and clubs, and plan programming.
The following points of progress were announced by Interim President Marcia J. White on July 14, 2020. This page will be updated as progress is made.
- Based on community feedback and a review of our reporting process for incidents of bias and discrimination, the College has developed three methods for communicating such incidents and has improved reporting accessibility. We have also created a single place on the website where our priorities, actions, and resources around diversity and inclusion can be found. This area of the website, which also provides an opportunity to share ideas, provide feedback, and get involved, will be updated frequently.
- As a follow-up to the College-organized meeting on racial injustice held June 26 with our community, we have organized a follow-up meeting via Zoom for July 24 at noon. We will provide the Zoom link as that date nears. Follow-up meetings will be held every two weeks in order to maintain our momentum and continue community engagement and capacity building around improving the campus climate.
- I have appointed Yolanda Caldwell, the College’s director of the Women’s Leadership Institute and BOLD Women’s Leadership Network, to serve as the point person to move us through this process while we undertake a national search for a director of diversity and inclusion. Yolanda will work collaboratively with the College community as we establish frameworks for a truly diverse and inclusive campus. Yolanda defines inclusive excellence and has national and regional connections and resources that she is leveraging to inform our work.