Better Together is a mini-workshop for faculty that aims to foster dialogue on diversity and equity in the classroom, focusing in particular on issues that are important to students. The workshop was developed by the Faculty Fellow for Diversity and Equity along with the staff of the Center for Student Involvement and the Diversity Action Committee. Drawing from issues and concerns that emerged during focus groups with students, the workshop’s goal is to provide a venue for faculty to engage these issues and discuss how to best address them. Some of the topics covered include how to facilitate difficult dialogues in the classroom, recognizing and addressing microaggressions, and employing best practices.
Student Engagement Techniques in the Classroom
Navigating the National Political Climate in the Classroom
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Past Webinar Topics
Students who identify outside the well-known labels of bisexual, transgender, lesbian, and gay often feel left out of conversations about sexuality and gender. Learn more about supporting students whose identities are not commonly spoken (or known) about.
Black Men & Mental Health
Many black students feel less emotionally prepared for college than white students do – and they are often less likely to seek help – according to a recent survey conducted by the Jed Foundation and the Steve Fund. For black men, there are psychological and emotional concerns that can arise as a result of the intersectionality of being black and male in American culture, making mental illness a silent epidemic for this population. Is your institution adequately supporting these students?
Minority students – including black men – are at a greater risk for mental health difficulties. Barriers exist, making it difficult for black men to reach out for help when they need it most. Stigmas surrounding seeking help, worries about expressing vulnerable emotions, and pressures to endorse traditional masculinity compound these struggles.
Campus Facilities & Transgender Students
Building new campus facilities and renovating older facilities are huge projects with many intersecting interests, priorities, and requirements. When it comes to trans students, how do we foster and create campus facilities that are safe, inclusive, and comply with Title IX? This webinar will share strategies to develop restrooms, residence hall bathrooms, and locker rooms in recreational centers and athletic buildings that can address the needs of trans students, including an examination of social and political concerns and the financial cost. The experiences of several campuses will be discussed as case studies to help other colleges create trans-supportive facilities.
The national outrage and controversy surrounding the Unite the Right rally has been unprecedented. Campuses across the country are dealing with the fallout. Students have been arrested; others have been dismissed from their institutions; and faculty, staff and administrators are grappling with how to address their outrage, fear and concerns.
Anger, fear and grief are real emotions that many are expressing because of the rally, its aftermath and other prominent incidents taking place globally. Gain tools to address the underlying hate and fear many on campus are experiencing — and will likely continue to experience as events unfold over the next number of months.
DACA Program to End
The lives of hundreds of thousands undocumented youth or DREAMers are once again in limbo. The U.S. Administration has announced that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will be phased out within the next six months. The program allows undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children to work with a social security number and live in the country without fear of deportation. These 800,000 recipients, many of whom are in college, will no longer have the legal protections they formerly had. It’s a crushing blow.
The stress and fear for undocumented students is real. They may not be able to finish their education due to financial hardships and stressors, they may not be able work in the career they have been studying towards, and they will become vulnerable to deportation. Get the facts so you can support them with the phasing out of DACA – legally, socio-emotionally and academically – through March 5, 2018 and beyond.
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Training for Faculty and Staff
Campuses across the country feel the intensifying call to stand in unison and invest effort and energy to ensure that leaders, staff, and faculty are committed to and demonstrating a mutual goal to create an inclusive campus environment. Many recognize the potential rewards of increased student persistence and graduation and increased staff/faculty retention.
Now is the time to reignite and reinvigorate intentional, comprehensive training programs focused on issues of diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice.
First Generation Students
First-generation students bring unique challenges to the table, as they sometimes balance two identities for themselves — one for home and one for college. Being the first in their family to embark on the college experience can be both anxiety-provoking and exciting. Family members may be supportive, but may not have the cultural or social capital to help their students successfully navigate this strange new world. This is where you can help.
Identify your first-generation students’ strengths, as well as take an active role in helping them transition into, through and beyond college.
Hate Crimes On Campus
University administrators must be swift and comprehensive in addressing hate crimes on their campuses or the effect can be devastating to their community. Southern Poverty Law Center reported approximately 1,094 hate and bias-related incidents in the months following the election. Morale, institutional values, inclusive training, opportunities for authentic dialogue and legal concerns are all issues that institutions must consider when an incident occurs.
Meet the Mental Health Needs of Your LGBTQ Students
The 2015 Freshman Survey results showed that only 25 percent of students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or “other” rated their emotional health as “above average,” compared to 53 percent of heterosexual students. And almost 50 percent of students who identified as queer said they frequently felt depressed, compared to 8 percent of heterosexual students.
If your clinical staff isn’t prepared to provide optimal support, you can’t take part in creating an affirming and supportive community that assists in the safety, satisfaction and success of your LGBTQ students.
Today, more than ever, college campuses across the world are experiencing tremendous upheaval, a rise in student activism and institutions living in a world of uncertainty. Higher Education administrators must serve their diverse populations however, many feel ill equipped to recognize campus dynamics, solicit student experiences, and implement strategies to foster inclusive campus environments that address microaggression from the bottom up.
Those doing the work find themselves caught in a world where the idea of safe spaces are highly scrutinized, microaggressions and exclusionary behaviors, policies, and structures go unaddressed and ongoing debate of political correctness stifles progress and spreads confusion and frustration.
Move Beyond Civility
Many faculty members are experiencing a significant increase in both the frequency and the intensity of difficult dialogues in their classrooms. Their ability to engage students and facilitate meaningful dialogue in these moments not only furthers learning, but can also impact student success. Mismanaged conversations often result in unresolved issues, misunderstanding, and simmering conflict that undermine learning outcomes and campus-wide goals to create inclusive campus environments.
Support Your Muslim Students
It’s scary to be Muslim in America. There have been a number of incidents in the news involving hate crimes, property damage, and ongoing episodes of verbal and physical abuse to Muslim individuals across the country. A recent episode of hate letters targeting mosques is yet another instance of an action of hate that has been targeted towards the Muslim community. The events regarding the U.S. Presidential Election have heightened the intensity of these threats, as proposed policies discuss the exclusion of Muslim immigrants and the tracking of those who reside here, amongst other polarizing rhetoric.
What can you do on your campus to support your Muslim students, faculty and administrators?
Trigger Warnings & Safe Spaces On Campus
The letter above received national attention because of its polarizing view on trigger warnings and safe spaces. A great deal of discussion has ensued about how institutions should support students. How do you respond to complaints about subtle cultural insensitivity — as well as more overt racist behavior? Trigger warnings and safe spaces may or may not be the answer. Join this important national discussion so you can determine how to manage trigger warnings, free speech, and even Title IX issues on your campus. These legal and emotional issues can quickly land you, your staff and your institution in the midst of a lawsuit, a headline or a protest if you don’t have a handle on them.
Working With Your Student Activists
Racial Climate. Gender Equity. Religious Freedom. Tuition Increases. Administrative Integrity and Trust. These hot button issues — and many more — are serving as a springboard for student rallies, protests, sit-ins and demonstrations that can create chaos, disruption, potential risk and safety concerns throughout your campus community — sometimes without any notice.
You can provide space for your student activists to express themselves and create awareness of issues important to them AND maintain a safe and productive campus environment for everyone. There are effective ways to work with your student activists, leaders and organizations beyond the typical hard core response. Through a few adaptable strategies, you can create ongoing, inclusive and positive dialogue and relationships by engaging those students EARLY who may feel disenfranchised. It’s a win-win for your students and your institution.