Milda Hedblom, Faculty Senate President (on Behalf of Faculty Senate)
To our students:
Recent events in an HON120 class have brought to the forefront what many of us knew existed but what we as a faculty have not explicitly named or adequately addressed: the lack of inclusivity students of color have been experiencing. In response, you — our students — created a space for your voices to be heard at the listening sessions on Nov. 5 and 6. We listened carefully, and we heard your call for action.
As a united Faculty Senate, we call for the following actions as a first step:
1. As a faculty, we will work to increase our understanding of privilege and power; we understand that this work begins with our own critical reflection.
2. We will collaborate with the Center for Teaching and Learning and the Diversity, Inclusion and Equity committee to create learning spaces for the work outlined in #1.
3. We will work with administration and University Council to advocate for student-led initiatives supporting diversity, inclusion and equity.
4. We will collaborate with Multicultural Student Services (MSS) to support their work with students of color.
5. We will explore ways to develop ongoing spaces for administration, faculty, staff and students to address these issues together.
We hope our ability to understand and address issues of diversity, inclusivity, power and privilege — among others — will improve. We understand that we need to create classroom environments that are inclusive, advance our knowledge and learning and include and celebrate a plurality of voices. The Faculty Senate supports our students. We remain committed to our shared goals: to educate our students today and in the years to come while we live up to the university’s language of inclusion and equity in which we all believe.
(President, Faculty Senate)
This article was originally published in the Dec. 07, 2018 issue.