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CEDI addresses challenges from campus climate survey

Back in April 2008, 1523 members of our Carleton community took the Campus Climate Survey administered by the Diversity Initiative Group (DIG) and our consultant Rankin & Associates. The results of the 100 question survey found that many respondents spoke positively about campus climate and expressed an overall appreciation and excitement for initiatives such as the Campus Climate Survey. However, the survey also found four main challenges facing Carleton: classism, racism, sexism and heterosexism.

Many readers may not have been around when the survey was conducted. However, one must recognize that many have been actively participating in initiatives since then, working to improve community, equity, and diversity here at Carleton.

During the Winter 2009 term, DIG transformed into the Community, Equity, and Diversity Initiative Leadership Board (CEDI). CEDI is divided into four task forces: Inside the Classroom, Outside the Classroom, Sexual Harassment and Assault, and the Workplace Climate. The charge of the CEDI Leadership Board is to develop a strategic plan in response to the campus climate results, to coordinate with work already taking place on campus and to help communicate this work to the campus. Thus, in partnership with the Carletonian, CEDI would like to present the first of many installments communicating work being done on campus with regards to community, equity, and diversity:

o Intergroup Dialogue Pilot Project—A project currently headed by Dean Joe Baggot and Professor Lori Pearson hoping to facilitate intergroup dialogue. Peer leaders will be trained during the winter term and the project will be piloted during the spring term.

o Faculty Retreat—On September 8th CEDI leaders facilitated ten breakout sessions at the faculty retreat, focusing on two case studies highlighting difficult classroom situations. These studies were chosen for relevance to Campus Climate Survey results, economy of expression and open-endedness for purposes of stimulating conversation.

o Anti-Racism Leadership Conference—Nov. 6-7 in St. Paul. CEDI, the President’s Office, the Dean of Students’ Office, the Office of Intercultural Life, and the Chaplain’s Office funded over $1200 for approximately 15 students to attend the conference.

o Residential Life—The Office of Residential Life is beginning a review this term in response to a number of issues raised in the Campus Climate Survey that were residential life specific. The office is carrying out a self-study (fall term), internal review (winter term) and external review (spring term) that should help to enhance the residential life program and the residential climate on campus.

o New Student Week—“Stand in it With Me” took anecdotes from the Campus Climate Survey and presented them in sketches to the Class of 2013. The presentations were followed up by facilitated dialogue and breakout discussion groups that addressed the issues as well as different conflict and resolution styles.

These are certainly not the only initiatives that are taking place on campus. Every day discussions and programs facilitating community, equity, and diversity are occurring in Carleton offices, dorms, dining halls, and classrooms. Nor is the sole purpose of this article to sing the praises of Carleton’s advancements in social climate. There is still much work to be done with regards to community, equity, and diversity; however, it is essential that we recognize as a community that we are making progress. Furthermore, the CEDI Leadership Board firmly stands by our commitment to transparency and communication with the campus. We also hope that by informing students, faculty, and staff we will encourage further discussions about the campus climate here at Carleton.

Feel free to contact these student representatives regarding CEDI:

Helen Ashton ‘10 (Workplace Climate Task Force), Noe Hernandez ‘11 (Outside the Classroom Task Force), Megan Braddock ‘12 (Outside the Classroom Task Force), Robert Stephens ‘10 (Inside the Classroom Task Force), Heather Campbell ‘10 (Sexual Harassment & Assault Task Force), Kate Richey ‘10 (Sexual Harassment and Assault Task Force)

Visit the CEDI Leadership Board website: https://apps.carleton.edu/governance/diversity/

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