Tag Archives: diversity and multicultural affairs

Want Change? Take the Campus Climate Survey

The campus climate survey, why does it matter?

A diverse, inclusive and safe campus is an enriching and educational space. SSU prides itself on being diverse, but there is always room for improvement. The priority of the university  is that students feel safe, seen and included on campus. The need for more diversity in administration, faculty and staff and more programming about diversity and more are needs that have been brought up by students recently. There is now a clear pathway to SSU prioritizing these needs as well as expediting the programs that may put these needs in place.

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This pathway to more diversity is an ever-important, 20-30 minute Campus Climate Study. Great initiatives that have come from other schools that have done campus climate studies include gender-inclusive bathrooms, more diverse faculty, more classes about diversity and social justice and funds for more programming to enhance sense of belonging for all community members. Some of these initiatives already happen at Salem State but some that the community could benefit from do not happen on campus yet. They very well could given you take the short 20 minutes to complete the survey.

The survey is not just a diversity initiative, it is for all community members to voice their experiences in order to reach a better campus climate. Climate can be described as:

Lived experiences, cultural attitudes and perceptions.

How does it work?

Administrators have committed to making the changes that appear as needed from the survey results. It’s up to you to take the survey and let them know what we need. They’re willing to help the student body, they just need to know what we need to change in order for this campus to feel safe and inclusive.

“This is a chance for your experiences to be quantified into important data that will help improve the climate and overall experience of students” – Rebecca Comage, director of Diversity & Multicultural Affairs.

The study needs at least 30% student participation for the study to be statistically significant. There is currently only 7.8% student participation. Participating will help stop uncomfortableness from impeding your educational and extracurricular experience.

What’s in it for you besides a better campus climate? Once you take the survey, you’re entered in a raffle to win either:  a credit for an undergrad and grad course, up to $100 for any entertainment ticket, $50 clippercash, a $100 book voucher, a free meal plan, grad school app waiver and more.

How to get involved:

LOOK OUT FOR THESE FUN OPPORTUNITIES TO TAKE THE SURVEY AMONG PEERS:

  • Survey parties in residence halls this week (March 8th)
  • Spring Break Part 2: Survey Party in the Center for Diversity & Cultural Enrichment: FREE FOOD and information about the survey!

Take the 20 minutes to take the survey here, for a better campus climate.

Take the survey here and if you post about it anywhere, use the hashtag #wecandobetter.

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Diversity and Inclusion a Major Focus for Student Leaders

On Saturday, September 10, representatives from every student organization gathered in the Ellison Campus Center to be equipped with the information and skills to make them the best student leaders they can be in hopes of making this a successful school year. The program began with an introduction, then went into breakout sessions for each different position. Every executive board involves varying concerns and roles, so different training for each position is key. After lunch, there were two breakout sessions. The day ended with ice cream and a discussion on diversity, which tied into the themes of the day.

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The “Preferred Name Policy” breakout session focused on a new development in University Law: the Preferred Name Policy. Students may have their name on the class roster, canvas, door decks, and more that they prefer to be called. Why would a student prefer another name? There are many reasons. Some of those presented by Julia Golden-Battle, Assistant Director and LGBTQ Liaison of Diversity & Multicultural Affairs, included: gender identity, unsafe circumstances, and international students seeking to use their American name. Julia then delved into a discussion on gender identity and pronouns so that student leaders can set a progressive example for the students they lead on campus, as well as the campus community as a whole. Learn more about the preferred name policy here.

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Image courtesy of transstudent.org

To wrap up the day, we ended with diversity and some ice cream. Rebecca Comage, Director of Diversity & Multicultural Affairs introduced herself and what her office does. Through their professional, graduate, and undergraduate staff, they educate the greater university community about the different populations found here on campus and throughout the world.

According to the school website, the office…

“…strives to lead Salem State University in sustaining an active campus community that embraces difference, and values the significant contributions of all its members. Through examining the intersections of identity, our community is challenged to think critically about issues relevant to diversity and social justice. By creating strategies that support historically marginalized student populations in achieving their goals, we cultivate an environment where diversity, academic excellence, and holistic student success are inseparable.”

After a discussion on why this is key to the SSU community, the student groups discussed how they could involve more diversity in their programming, and why it’s important for them.

College is a big change, and an even bigger community. For some students, it’s a much bigger community than their high school. Joining a club or organization can help students find a group that they feel that they belong to within this vast environment. They can find their school of fish in the big ocean of college. The more inclusive said group is, the more students may feel that they belong. That’s why the emphasis on diversity during this student leadership training was so important.

How will you include diversity in your group’s programming? If you already do, how will you emphasize it more? Why do you think it’s important?