Docstoc

Reactions to the Campus Climate Survey Policy Considerations for

Document Sample
Reactions to the Campus Climate Survey Policy Considerations for Powered By Docstoc
					                                                                                                                                                        Reactions to the Campus Climate Survey:
                                                                                                                                               Policy Considerations for Multicultural Students at Sewanee
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Shameka Jennings, Emily Nicholson, Miriam Pate
                                                                                                                                                                                                       Supervised by C. Albert Bardi, Ph.D.

                                            ABSTRACT                                                                                                          METHOD                                                                                                 RESULTS                                                          “I’ve got to say that Sewanee doesn’t really want, I don’t believe that they want
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          diversity. They might say they do just to compete, you know, with other
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          schools with numbers, but I highly doubt that maybe, it goes back to the
   This study sought to explore and assess multicultural students’ academic, social and                                                                                                                                                           The following are Key Themes found among interviews                                     trustees and the regents, but I don’t see that they really want to keep, that they
personal experiences at the University of the South. The researchers conducted individual                              Participants
interviews with a standardized set of questions. Participants were briefed with the results of a                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          want, they don’t pay them. It’s not something that they desire to have. They
                                                                                                                        A total of ten multicultural students attending Sewanee: The University of the South have been              The conflict between a highly positive academic experience and an unsatisfactory                    just do it because its progressive, moving forward, and it looks good. And I
recent campus climate survey and interviewed about related issues such as witnessing and/or
experiencing racial discrimination or harassment, academic expectations, social expectations,                            interviewed thus far (the study is still being conducted). The participants ranged from freshmen             social life.                                                                                        can tell because they bring diverse students here, multicultural students, but
                                                                                                                         to seniors. The ages ranged from 18-22 years old. Participants were volunteers.                                                                                                                                  they don’t find a way to keep them here. They just bring them here with no
overall content level with their college experience, and what changes they would like to see                                                                                                                                         Islands of comfort in diversity (e.g. lunch table) are too few and far between.
implemented. Participants in the study were multicultural students ranging from freshmen to                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               facilities, no faculty to depend on, and it’s just a poor, very poor experience for
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Opportunities for experiences with diverse student groups are left up to student
seniors at the University of the South. Tentative yet recurring themes included the conflict                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              multicultural students. So if they were really truly aiming for diversity, they
between a highly positive academic experience and an unsatisfactory social life, issues of                             Materials                                                                                                      organizations, which vary too greatly.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          would also care about how to take care of the students.”
academic and social opportunities and support for diverse students on campus compared to the                                                                                                                                         The high importance of alternative social life (non-alcohol focused) for minority
mainstream and dominant culture, experiences of insensitivity in and outside of the classroom,                          2009 Campus Climate Survey Results                                                                           students.                                                                                       “Academically yes, because it’s hard, it just takes some time to adjust to how hard
lack of diversity in faculty and staff, and concerns regarding retention of multicultural students                         Excerpt:                                                                                                 Direct experiences of ethnic/cultural insensitivity.                                               it is. As for social events, yes I mean there are stuff that goes on that is pretty
over four years of education. Using the thematic data collected, suggestion for policy changes                                 Highest Rated Topics of Student Life                                                                                                                                                                      fun. I can see myself getting tired of it in my junior and senior year but for
and implementation are offered.                                                                                                                                                                                                      Being asked to speak for one’s race/ethnicity in the classroom.
                                                                                                                                   1. Faculty Accessibility             6. Extracurricular                                                                                                                                               right now I’m enjoying it.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     The vicarious experience of insensitivity (hearing about others' experiences of
                                     INTRODUCTION                                                                                  2. Overall course quality                Opportunities                                             insensitivty via social interaction).                                                           “I feel like if we’re going to be more diverse, then the students need to engage
                                                                                                                                   3. Library                           7. Computer Resources                                        The experience of deception concerning diversity via admissions media and events-                   themselves about the world, the people that surround them. Whether that starts
                                                                                                                                   4. Campus Safety                     8. Amount of contact with                                     -led to believe Sewanee is more diverse than is actually experienced.                               with people on their campus or not, I don’t know, but it is their place to be at
  College is designed as a period of transition to the real world, which is full of individuals with                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      those meetings and participate. I feel like with those meetings and
different ideas and identities. This time should be utilized to prepare students to the differences                                5. Faculty Advisors                      Faculty Members                                          Experience that minority culture (music, dance) is not valued in mainstream
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      venues such as recitals, social gatherings.                                                         participating, there will come, I don’t want to say and immediate
they may face in the world. Because of this, it is important for all students to be exposed to                                  Lowest Rated Topics of Student Life
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          understanding, but to expose themselves to that material, at least they’ll have
diversity. Diversity is defined as a “variety” or having an “unlikeness.” Simply put, diversity is                                 1.Ethnic/Racial Diversity                5. Food Service                                          The concern about lack of diversity in administration.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          some sort of an idea and to be open to conversations about it. But not just
being unique, being an individual. Diversity on campus is important not only because it                                            2. Climate for Minority Students         6.Variety of Social                                      The concern about lack of diversity in faculty.                                                     conversations, because that’s one thing that I’ve noticed with the Posse Plus
exposes individuals to people who are racially, ethnically, geographically, philosophically                                                                                                                                          The high impact of losses of minority students on the morale of the minority                        Retreat. We’ll invite many people from campus and we’ll get a few, a sprinkle
                                                                                                                                   3. Ability to Enroll in Desired Courses      Options
different from who they are, but also allows everyone to grow and develop into a more well-                                                                                                                                           community (even though minorities may persist at higher percentages than                            of faculty members, but usually it’s the same ones. And it’s no one of a high
rounded, knowledgeable, open person.                                                                                               4.Student Behavior in Dorms
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Whites).                                                                                            enough position to do anything, other than take in comments and reflect on it
   Through the courses we have taken in Psychology, stories we have heard, and our personal                                        Inside the Classroom
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          in their own way, but I don’t necessarily see any action.”
experiences, we decided to create an independent study that focused on the multicultural                                           Experienced Racial Insensitivity, 47.6%        Witnessed Racial Insensitivity, 60.3%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Below are excerpts from the interviews conducted portraying the mentioned themes:                   “I remember once we were having a group discussion and one of the kids asked
perspective on Sewanee: The University of the South. We hope to find common themes, positive                                       Experienced Racial Harassment, 11.1%%           Witnessed Racial Harassment, 12.7%
and negative, of the multicultural collegiate experience. We intend to report to the university                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           me where I was from and I said [major U.S. city]. And the kid was like no
                                                                                                                                   Experienced Racial Discrimination, 23.8%        Witnessed Racial Discrimination, 28.6%
our findings and accompany them with recommendations to create a better environment for                                                                                                                                       “Academically, I believe Sewanee does what it can. I have to be a certain level of preparedness             seriously where are you from? And I was just like wow. I wouldn't expect this
                                                                                                                                   Outside the Classroom                                                                            for myself so I can’t blame them. And I do feel that they are easily accessible, most of              from a group mate. If that was my answer that's where I am from and I don’t
multicultural students.
                                                                                                                                   Experienced Racial Insensitivity, 65.1%         Witnessed Racial Insensitivity, 76.2%            the professors…I know it seems to go back to social life but that honestly will make a                see why you need to specifically know where I am from. I am proud to say
Annotated Bibliographies                                                                                                           Experienced Racial Harassment, 30.2%%           Witnessed Racial Harassment, 32.3%               well-rounded, very happy and well adjusted person and that’s one of the components                    where I am from, but it just sounded really racial and he assumed I was from
McHatton. A., Keller, H., Shircliffe, B., & Zalaquett,C. (2009).Examining Efforts to Infuse Diversity Within One                   Experienced Racial Discrimination, 42.9%        Witnessed Racial Discrimination, 58.7%           that sticks out to me when I reflect on my college experience and that’s something that’s             some third world country or something.”
College of Education. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, Vol 2(3), Sep, 2009. pp. 127-135.                                                                                                                                   lacking here. And that’s something that if I had to do it again I really sometimes would
                                                                                                                                   Conclusion: Significant negative correlations indicate that higher levels of racial                                                                                                                “I think I would, (i.e. attend Sewanee again) ya definitely. But it’s hard to say, ya
    This study discusses the need to teach and prepare teachers and professors about diversity and cultural                                                                                                                         question. And if it had not been for the friendships that I’ve made, I would not be
responsiveness in and outside of the classroom. This study also suggests infusing such issues into classroom
                                                                                                                                      harassment, insensitivity and discrimination were associated with lower levels of                                                                                                                   know. Life at another school might be better, but I’m satisfied. I think I like it
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    committed to Sewanee at all. The education is one thing but I believe that I can get a
curriculum. This study supports many of the challenges of professors at Sewanee have expressed. This would be                         Sewanee satisfaction.                                                                                                                                                                               here. I would probably still come, I think.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    good education some place and still be provided with the social life that I deserve and
very helpful in developing some type of training or instruction on diversity and how to respond. This will be very      Tape Recorder                                                                                              have desired.”
beneficial to an institution like ours where the faculty and staff are mainly homogenous.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             “ I want some enthusiasm. I don’t them to seem to do it just to pacify us, or to
                                                                                                                        List of interview questions designed to assess issues such as:                                                                                                                                                   pretend to be more satisfied, I want it to be a more genuine effort. That’s what
Pascarella, E. T., Edison, M., Nora, A., Hagedorn, L. S., & Terenzini P. T. (1996). Influences on Students' Openness       Witnessing and/or experiencing racial discrimination or harassment                                “I guess I cannot say Sewanee campus is diverse in the sense of the buildings and what
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I want. “
to Diversity and Challenge in the First Year of College. Journal of Higher Education, Vol. 67.                                                                                                                                        surrounds it. It’s pretty restraining. I guess, I don’t know how to say this but, I guess the
                                                                                                                           Academic expectations and social expectations,                                                            cultural things you can do at Sewanee are very limited and the availability of other
   This study suggests that the college experience has a vital impact awareness and openness to diversity for many                                                                                                                                                                                                                    “Well, it (the administration) definitely needs to behave as if we matter, that
college students. The three main factors that contribute to this change are the emphasis the institution places on         Their overall happiness/ satisfaction with their experience at Sewanee                                    environments is pretty hard to access. It’s hard to get off the mountain and get away to          multicultural students mean something to them. Listen to what they say cause
diversity, student engagement with diverse faculty and student engagement with diverse students. The results from          What changes they would like to see implemented                                                           do certain things because kind of the small community here. It’s not necessarily a bad
this study showed that institutions who were high in all three variables graduated more open and salient students                                                                                                                                                                                                                       they’re definitely complaints. Just talking and speaking with multicultural
Our institution is lacking all of these. This study would support our independent study because it stresses the                                                                                                                       thing, but it’s just the way it is and if that’s not something you can be comfortable with,       students. We have had students talk with and write to administration and
importance of having diverse faculty as well as having institutional support for more diversity on campus. This                                                                                                                       you cannot develop that side of yourself.”                                                        regents express the dissatisfaction of the Sewanee experience, but we have yet
study would be very useful in developing policy in regards to faculty hiring and recruitment and goals for the                                                                                                                                                                                                                          to see any improvements. They should take us and our letters more seriously.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              “So socially I think they could improve it because they need more activities out there and they
institution.
                                                                                                                                                           PROCEDURE                                                                  need to put some thought into it. Thoughtful activities are gonna’ have some type of              Listen to the students and ask the students what they want and begin to make
Pepper, M. B., Tredennick, L., Reyes, R. F.(2010). Transparency and trust as antecedents to perceptions of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      show…people are going to show up to it if it fits them. Activities such as Bingo, salsa           efforts to make it happen. And I think this could definitely improve the
commitment to stated diversity goals. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, Vol 3(3), Sep, 2010. pp. 153-162.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Dancing, and other activities…BC All -Nighter. All those types of things, having it once          experience of multicultural students here.”
  This study discusses commitment to diversity goals and policies different institutions claim to support but do not    Each researcher approached a multicultural student and contacted the student and informed him/
necessarily implement. Furthermore this study talks about how the effects of when an institution is/ is not visibly      her about the course study and its goals. Students then choose to participant voluntarily.                   a year or once a semester….like no…make it happen more. So you have people who                  For students I’d like to see more participation these events. I’ve noticed that we’ve
committed to diversity. Some of the effects of being seen as not committed include: lower grades for African                                                                                                                          don’t do things like drink, have something to do. They don’t even give that                        had some talks on…and I go back to African American, because I am African
                                                                                                                        In a private location, the researcher informed the participant of the procedure for the interview:
Americans, increase feeling of isolation among different groups of students and discrimination and hostility                                                                                                                          responsibility to students…administration doesn’t do anything.”                                    American, so I can speak best on that. But I’ve noticed sometimes we have
amongst students. This study suggests that an institution needs trust and cultural transparency in order to be           the researcher would strictly ask questions and would not comment during their interview.
perceived as having a commitment to diversity. This study would support our independent study because it gives          The participants were given the campus climate survey results and asked to review them.              “And then when I was a freshman I was talking with an actual friend, she’s [Asian descent] and             these diversity talks and we invite people to speak on their opinions and
us a basis for establishing our diversity policy. It also suggests that we “promote” diversity in tangible ways to                                                                                                                   we were in Chemistry class and she looked at me and told me that why did I think I                  sometimes when they do they feel attacked and other times they don’t show
                                                                                                                        After the participants felt as though they completely understood the campus climate survey                                                                                                                      up. They don’t know anything about the event nor do they necessarily feel
increase awareness of diversity on campus.                                                                                                                                                                                           wasn’t going to get the concept, because I was black…and that bothered me. Or if I was
                                                                                                                         results, the researchers began the interview.                                                                                                                                                                   there’s a need to talk about it. To me that seems as if they don’t care. And then
Cook, R. (2008). Embracing diversity at Allegheny College: Signs of success at a residential college of the liberal                                                                                                                  late, it was because I was black and it just had a lot of references because I was black...
                                                                                                                        After interview was over, the participant was thanked and debriefed about the study.                                                                                                                            even on immigration, I noticed that we had a talk on that. At first, I was
arts and sciences. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 1(1), 1-7.                                                                                                                                                              and it was a negative thing like being considered loud, obnoxious, and ghetto. I’ve
  This article follows Allegheny College as they try to answer the question, “Why should minority students and          All interviews were transcribed by the researchers.                                                         heard that from many students on campus to the point where I was stopping the way I                 hesitant to go, but then I found that I have a lot of friends that this affects their
faculty choose Allegheny College?” The article discusses the strategic plan developed by Allegheny to make them         Researchers reviewed the transcripts, and via consensus, documented recurring themes.                       was dressing like if I was wearing hoop earrings, I wouldn’t wear them…stretch jeans, I             lives and it doesn’t necessarily affect me, but there are plenty of people who
more attractive to diverse students and employees. Initiatives include: Establishing a diversity scholarship;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     wouldn’t wear them. Anything that could stereotype me, I wouldn’t’ do it. Rap                       are affected. So it’s my job to go inform myself of these things. And I feel like
Providing additional resources to director of diversity affairs to participate in policy-making and programming;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     music…I don’t think so…I don’t even really like it that much but even if I liked a rap              as a higher level of education we’re here to get an education on many fronts,
Offer pilot diversity awareness program; create faculty positions devoted to diversification of curriculum;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     song, wouldn’t play it. And then as time went on, I stated to say “F it”, I’m gonna do              not just academically. I feel like if we’re going to be more diverse, then the
increasing number of alumni of color and women on school Board of Trustees; Diversity Dialogues. Since
Allegheny is a small, liberal arts school like Sewanee, I believe that the initiatives taken are some that we should                                                                                                                 what I want. I started to go back to what I enjoy and I started to see more students that           students need to engage themselves about the world, the people that surround
share with administration in addition to the data we find in-house.                                                                                                                                                                  preferred some of the same things I enjoyed doing too but I definitely felt like an                 them.
Gottfredson, N., Panter, A., Daye, C., Allen, W., Wightman, L., & Deo, M. (2008). Does diversity at undergraduate                                                                                                                    outsider because of things that I liked.”
institutions influence student outcomes?. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 1(2), 80-94
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              “They [ faculty and administration] are whipped cream, it’s like on top. They sugar coat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 CONCLUSION
  This study presents data that shows that there is a relationship between diversity and student outcomes in a
higher educational institution. The data supports that having individuals of diverse backgrounds in a setting                                                                                                                         everything. They’re like, oh we’ll come out and support, let’s do this and do that. Next
interact with one another have a positive effect on student life as well as having the individual take a course on                                                                                                                    thing I know I’m looking next month and I’m like I see nothing that you guys said. So           The common themes that we found are critical to the success of diversity and
human diversity. This study can be utilized because it supports our theory of providing more diverse opportunities                                                                                                                    it’s like back up what you say with actions. And I think…what I wanna’ go back to is,              inclusion at Sewanee. It is important to measure the campus climate,
on campus so that students and faculty have time to engage in conversation with and learn from one another.                                                                                                                           admin needs to be more open. And students will learn from that, eventually. I mean I               interpret the results, and implement plans of action. Data supports that
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      blame the students too, but they learn it from somewhere.”                                         having individuals of diverse backgrounds in a setting interact with one
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         another have a positive effect on student life as well as having the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              “I’m not motivated to keep doing a lot of things I am already doing, because I am seen as the              individual take a course on human diversity. In order for the students to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      minority literally and my opinion is not respected.”                                               be happy with the overall Sewanee experience, the institution should focus
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              “Academically, once I tell my teacher’s that my father is from [another country], every time               mainly on recruitment, retention, and relationship building. This in turn
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    they say something about [that country] they look at me like I’m an expert.”                         can foster and sustain diversity on our campus.

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:2
posted:6/22/2012
language:
pages:1