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November 2015

Diversity & Community Enhancement Committee (DCEC) Meeting Minutes

November 18, 2015

Chambers 273

Chair: Elizabeth Smolcic

2:00 – 3:30


Attendees Present: Amity Maines, Anay Pope, Andrea McCloskey, Ashley Patterson, Ashley Pipe, Carlos Zalaquett, Chris Andrus, Dana Stuchul, Efrain Marimon, Elizabeth Smolcic, Gary Abdullah, Isaac Bretz, Jason Gines, Laura Hennessey, Samantha Walker, Seria Chatters, Wideline Serephin



  • Elizabeth briefly reviewed the history of the DCEC, the creation of the subcommittees, the choosing of themes, and actions taken last year.
  • Elizabeth identified the focus of 2015-16: Continuing work on Leadership Certificate in Diversity and Equity and discussions along the theme of Diversity in Teaching and Learning

Old Business

  • Approval of Oct 21 minutes
    • One revision suggested
    • Carlos motioned to approve
    • Efrain seconded
  • Elizabeth pointed out the proposed spring 2015 DCEC schedule  
  • Questions were raised about what diversity groups the DCEC is working to help and who chooses.
    • Andrea said that what is meant by diversity is always being decided by the current committee
    • Andrea said that it is always up to discussion as to which groups the DCEC should be devoting time and resources helping
    • Andrea said that new subcommittees could be formed to attend to issues that people feel passionate about

Staff Subcommittee

  • Laura said that committee met and she also brainstormed with Charleon Jeffries
    • Revised idea of having a retreat
      • Focus on community building and recommending changes
      • Group activities and refreshments
      • Consider having it at the Nature Inn, Bald Eagle State Park
      • Plan to present polished report to the dean
  • Amity suggested having a meet and greet: This is who we are, this is what we do, this is what we are planning.
  • A follow up event to Gettysburg was suggested.
    • During finals week have a pizza luncheon
    • Include discussion of models of leadership
  • Christine said the plans for a staff survey had been canceled
  • Elizabeth said that budgets for events would have to be drawn up and presented to the committee for approval 

Faculty and GA Planning Subcommittee

  • Elizabeth asked about ideas for workshops
    • Seria and Carlos said that they had been talking and Seria confirmed that she would be comfortable leading a workshop for students on the intersection between bullying and race (diversity)
      • Would work best as a 4 hour or full day program, scheduled in 2 hour increments
      • Would fill gap in the bystander intervention training
      • Could incorporate the workplace as a site of bullying
      • Carlos posited that faculty need this type of bullying training too.
        • Seria said that she would need help of other faculty and staff workshop leaders, especially if a workshop was also meant to be for faculty and staff.
        • Christine asked how well training works with a heterogeneous group
          • Seria said that mixing does not work well because power differentiation can inhibit conversations
          • Seria said that discussions would be more efficacious with separate spaces for different groups
            • Need to be particularly conscious of power differential between faculty, staff, and students.
            • A point was raised as to whether a conversation about power, privilege, and prejudice can be efficacious if those in power are not included
              • It was suggested that the workshops could be modeled around LGBQT safe zone training
                • Faculty and staff and students blended
                • Seria said that in order to plan such an event she needs to know the setting, how to advertise it to the college of Ed, time allotment
                  • Seria pointed out that another important topic that sometimes gets left out of such workshops is power differences caused by identity markers like socioeconomic class.
                    • Elizabeth said that this sounds like a new theme so the committee needs to decide whether this is a direction the DCEC wants to take.
                    • Andrea said that it would be good to schedule the event into one or more teacher education course syllabuses
                      • Therefore, the earlier plans move forward the better attendance of education majors.
                      • Seria said that she has done similar programs for education majors
                        • Sharing personal stories
                        • Differences between bullying and harassment,
                        • Micro-Aggressions
                        • Carlos said that formal training in crisis prevention is beneficial for teachers
                          • Could not imagine any teacher graduating without formal training in bullying prevention
                    • Carlos said that he has not seen this kind of training that intentionally intersects bullying and difference
                      • Strong possibility for a larger program, beyond training, a series of discussions on critical events
                        • Can be viewed as narratives and these can be recorded and used for pedagogical purposes
                        • Carlos said that what happened with the president in Missouri should be a wakeup call
                        • Could also be tied into Paris and the reaction to Syrian immigration
                        • Efrain suggested connecting the reaction to Muslim and undocumented immigrants
                    • Elizabeth said that for this plan to progress the first step is that the committee needs to decide whether the bullying workshop will be designed for students or for a mix of students, faculty and staff.

Undergraduate Planning Subcommittee

  • Elizabeth reported on the Leadership in Diversity and Equity Certificate
    • Stephanie Knight has asked for a brief proposal
    • Discussion continues as to whether the certificate scheme is the best way to proceed.

Elizabeth asked for pullout subcommittee groups to spend 15 minutes brainstorming and selecting leadership.

  • Faculty and GA Planning – lead: Carlos
  • Undergraduate Planning – Lead: Ashley and Efrain
  • Staff – Lead: Laura
  • Elizabeth asked subcommittees to meet on their own and make plans for the spring.
  • It was decided that the DCEC would meet on December 10, 2:00 – 3:30 to follow up on subcommittee plans. 


Meeting adjourned at 3:30.