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November 2019 Minutes

Diversity & Community Enhancement Committee (DCEC) Meeting Minutes

November 12, 2019

Chambers Building 221

Chair: SeriaShia Chatters

2:00pm – 4:00 pm


Attendees: Carlos Zalaquett, Rhea Banerjee, Christine Andrus, John Holst, Maria Vetter, Shannon Telenko, Lisa Hopkins, Michelle Knotts, Bonnie Richardson, Christine McDonald, Peggy Fitzgerald, Stephanie Koons, Elizabeth Smolcic, Holly Klock, Jeanine Staples


Welcome and Opening Remarks


Old Business:

  1. Attendees introduced themselves at the beginning of the meeting.
  2. Reviewed and approved the minutes from October 2019
    1. Change was suggested by Chris in agenda item 2 where “Lockhaven” was changed to “Lock Haven.” A motion to approve this change was passed.



New Business:

1)  General


  1. Elizabeth from the Equity team updated the committee members that the team had met in the previous week and were working on ideas that could be implemented this year. They are working with faculty who can teach freshmen seminars in the whole college to do some professional development which would enable equity minded pedagogical factors to be introduced through these seminars. Elizabeth spoke of an idea of having a Spring workshop with the people who would teach these courses in the Fall semester. Another idea was about individuals that have certain expertise could come in and teach in classes on a certain topic and the faculty could incorporate that into the syllabi. John suggested that these seminars could also be useful in graduate programs as an introductory seminar that all doctoral students take. Michelle agreed and said that this could help because graduate students teach undergraduate classes and therefore can use the seminars to infuse equity minded pedagogy into their teaching. Shannon offered support through a 30-60 minute presentation that she has done before on research and scholarship around equity, which could be utilized in graduate classrooms.

              a)     Elizabeth also spoke about a request made by the Elementary Education faculty who are undergoing a curricular revision and looking for ways to partner with people in the equity team and work on anti-racist education and equity pedagogies, and having these elements be systematically put into courses across the whole curriculum.

              b)    Another idea Elizabeth spoke of was having a professional development workshop around equity minded teaching and practices for the leadership positions (deans, department heads, etc).

              c)     Elizabeth discussed a possible event where the equity team would partner with the DCEC to organize a townhall around diversity, equity, and racist issues that are coming up with students. The focus would be on students who are the audience and who can bring up issues to address.

              d)    Rhea spoke about the equity team and the faculty subcommittee being blended together since no one is leading the faculty subcommittee. Elizabeth highlighted that the DCEC and equity team have separate missions – the equity team work more with curricular changes and therefore would not have the same role as DCEC.

                           i.  Maria asked if DCEC should be leading the equity and inclulsion changes in the college. Committee members discussed the DCEC mission and Elizabeth said that since the Dean is new, questions arise about whether DCEC and the equity team will continue being as it has been – performing the same roles – and since the answers to this is not known, we should become clear about what that role is.

                           ii. Carlos discussed that with a new Dean there may be a new perspective – where do we fit in with that? What place do we take in her vision?

                           iii. Chris highlighted that DCEC came out of surveys done across the college years ago, that indicated how the community/atmosphere was not good for everyone. John spoke about how DCEC and the equity team are both voluntary and there is no formalized representational diversity committee. Maria suggested that we should be the one to inform decisions. Elizabeth spoke about a possible proposal from us to the Dean. Committee members discussed a potential change in DCEC’s role to be informants, once a discussion with the Dean about this has taken place.

2. Bonnie spoke about wanting to be involved in the college’s United Way activities, since the campaign is not active much now and they are trying to find someone to take over.

[Specific staff subcommittee updates are provided at the end.]

3. Rhea updated the committee on the DCEC Coffee and Treats social that had occurred in the previous month. The event had more than 40 people that signed up, and there was good dialogue that occurred with the individuals who attended the social.

4. Committee members discussed that instead of them deciding on dates for the training, the Center for Gender and Sexual Diversity could provide potential dates that the members could then choose between.

5. Maria discussed a solidarity event that they were organizing on the December 6th – this would be a music event where the Los Tikis would be performing. The focus would be on creating a conscience about issues through music, and the songs would also be translated on the screen. Maria and John spoke about not requiring funds but endorsement from the DCEC – they had been reaching out to organizations on campus to spread the word. Michelle made a motion to endorse the event, seconded by Elizabeth.

6. JT was not present at the meeting to provide an update on the Diversity in Education Conference.

7. Carlos discussed the Difficult Dialogue event and said that this could be organized in the Spring semester – possibly on a Thursday in February 2020. Individuals from Shaver’s Creek and World in Conversation could be potential small group facilitators on mental health issues. Issues to address at this event were suggested as: mental health issues prevalence, resources for mental health, dealing with difficult situations in classrooms, and referrals. Carlos said the event could have 3 experts that can talk about these issues and asked for names of individuals who are experts. Shannon suggested that the student care and advocacy office could offer potential experts. Carlos suggested Kristen Nadermann – the coordinator of The Herr Clinic. Chris suggested Efrain Marimon. Elizabeth suggested having students involved who might be an expert on certain topics.

8. Rhea addressed the advertisement and acceptance of proposals for the DCEC grant and asked if anyone could volunteer to be proposal review committee members. Michelle and Christine volunteered to help.   


2.  Staff Subcommittee

Chris said that the staff subcommittee have been meeting and discussing the staff retreat. This year the staff retreat is split into two half-days. Chris and Bonnie spoke about this change makes it more convenient for people to attend and makes it cost-effective. Chris discussed that there need to be different ways of approaching the staff since there has been pushback on the content of the staff retreat in the past. Chris said there will be a survey after the retreat to see if people would want to engage in a small dialogue or workshop, where faculty would come and talk to the staff about diversity. Holly suggested a book club where people could attend and read the book together, therefore encouraging dialogue that could come up with the reading – this could also help in the community-building aspect of reading together.





The Meeting adjourned at 4:00 pm.



Next meeting: December 10th 2:00-4:00pm, Chambers 221