Continuing the Conversation
1. There is the need to strengthen campus safety:
- For some, police presence invokes fear; for others, police represent safety,
- For some, the campus does not feel safe, especially at night,
- Security in the residence halls and across campus must be reexamined but balanced with need for privacy.
New York State University Police (“UPD”) will expand its current outreach programs that include:
- Internship for students
- Daily bike and foot patrols
- Partner with PSGA to host open house at UPD headquarters once a semester.
- Coffee with a cop and the Chief events will continue
- Support and participation in Criminal Justice Club
- Community Watch Program
The campus security system is currently under review. UPD will conduct survey to ascertain interest in installing security cameras in residence halls and equipping police with personally worn videos.
Residence Halls’ access doors will be secured. Facilities will begin daily checks to make sure that doors remain closed and locked.
Office of Community Engagement will initiate an educational campaign to reinforce the importance of keeping room and entry doors locked at all times to help ensure safety in the residence halls and apartments.
Each member of the counseling center has an additional liaison/consultant role for campus safety or student identity.
2. We must create and maintain a campus culture that respects personal and social identities, eliminates racism, and encourages freedom of expression:
- Campus communication was not effective and as a result, administrators were not aware of and did not respond to the burning of posters and signs in February,
- The college needs to deal more effectively with racism and to take lasting steps to erase it from campus in order to restore trust,
- For some, the administration has not been adequately sensitive to the needs of students for support and validation.
Administration will expand its efforts to meet regularly with students. Over the next two months, campus leaders will attend student led meeting and events and host dinners. The purpose is listening, engaging, information gathering and restoring trust and understanding. Thereafter, these regular interactions will become institutionalized and a regular aspect of community life. College will work with students to continue planning a student center (name to be determined based on student input) that will serve as a “safer space” – i.e. one in which students who feel marginalized will feel particularly welcomed. Any formal programming for the space will be with student collaboration and will focus on bridge building, cooperation, tolerance and acceptance.
Diversity Office will develop diversity training programs for faculty, students, and staff to facilitate discussions on race, privilege, intersectionality, gender preference and language and pilot it during the 2015-16 academic year. The college will involve outside individuals and organizations with expertise in training and education to assist in the formulation and presentation of programs.
Diversity office will collaborate with Community Engagement to establish an official Cultural Awareness Calendar and potential programming connected to each month for 2015/16.
College will ask the Purchase College Association to identify ways to increase access to products and services aligned with a greater range of practices, styles, and values.
3. The college must follow through on its commitment to diversity:
- The makeup of the faculty does not reflect the diversity of the students; there is a lack of faculty of color on tenure track,
- There is not ongoing discussion of the importance of diversity, tolerance, respect, and civility in curriculum and programming,
- Influential cultural clubs have not done enough to promote diversity and to engage in programming to bring students together,
- Students need to develop a greater commitment to diversity—not just in reaction to crises but at all times.
Academic Affairs will continue to work to aggressively recruit, retain, and hire faculty of color. The projected percentage of faculty of color for academic year 15/16 is 16%.
Increasing diversity in counseling center and other areas of student support will be given top priority. Professional staff will continue training for competence across all groups.
Continued development of First Year Experience will center on efforts to strengthen skills that develop respect and tolerance among all new first-year students to Purchase. Especially important in this effort will be designing ways students can learn and demonstrate the very thinking that enables them to navigate a “wide open” community, in and out of the classroom. The freshmen seminar will be a central anchor course, which will mean development of instructors’ ability to facilitate the “think open” ability of our student.
An online Moodle-based tool to engage students in Purchase Values (“Purchase 101”) will be designed as a preliminary tutorial of sorts for students before they arrive on campus.
The enrollment planning committee will be discussing how the admissions process might further provoke thoughtful consideration of our motto and or the campus culture we promote and seek to create/maintain. While Admissions consistently promotes the values associated with our brand, an essay question, video, or alternative portfolio submission, if administered properly, could add useful information. We can invite student leaders to participate in this dialog.
The residential curriculum will add additional diversity programming throughout the year.
Orientation and Welcome Week will incorporate diversity programming.
International Office will develop programs centering on respect and understanding of different cultures from around the world using our on campus international students.
We will begin implementation of Purchase College Diversity Plan.
We will engage a growing pool of 20,000+ alumni in opportunities to engage in the life of the College that foster mentoring, networking and support.
Current efforts to hire MWBE businesses will continue
4. Faculty, students, staff and administrators must take an active role in creating an atmosphere in which all thrive and enjoy success:
- The recent hate-based events may have a negative impact on the academic performance of students and this impact should be considered institutionally.
- Social media platforms, such as Facebook and Yik Yak, have increased friction among students because of the level of hatred and vitriol that is expressed and shared widely.
Faculty members have asked for support so they can lead conversations about race, diversity and bias. In response, workshops and programs to develop the faculty’s ability to engage in classroom conversations around race and diversity issues will be designed for use in the fall. Outside organizations that focus on the teaching of relevant issues will be engaged in the effort.
Plan programming: speaker/ conference/panel of outside experts to discuss issues of diversity, civility in real time vs cyber debating or cyber bullying.
Collaborate with the appropriate offices and organizations to establish social media presence to facilitate respectful discourse on diversity for students, faculty, and staff.
Communications and Creative Services can support media needs for various initiatives (FYE, Orientation, Welcome Week, Workshops) once identified.