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2011 Winter Issue 6 (February 18, 2011)

Big picture: a letter from CEDI

February 18, 2011
By The Community Equity and Diversity Initiative (CEDI)

The Carleton Mission Statement and Statement on Diversity speak of academic excellence, mutual respect, a welcoming environment, supporting each other, and being active learners, among other things.  How are we as community members meeting these expectations?

Are we being academically excellent and supporting each other, when there were nearly 70 cases of academic dishonesty brought through the Academic Standing Committee in the last three years? These numbers reflect only what is being reported.  What is our responsibility?

Are we being supportive of each other or showing mutual respect?  There were nearly 20 community concern forms submitted this past fall that were sexual in nature.  It is good that forms are being submitted, but why are we letting these instances happen without intervention?

Are we a welcoming environment and showing mutual respect?  There are students who report continuously feelingl marginalized because of their race, gender or sexuality.  Classmates, professors and staff are allowing these situations to occur and continue.

Are we supporting each other or showing mutual respect when we allow our friends to drink too much alcohol?  We know drinking occurs on our campus.  Some can do it responsibly, some don’t drink at all, but why do so many end up in the hospital?  This past fall term, there were more than ten students hospitalized for alcohol-related reasons.

These are real situations that we hear about from our friends and colleagues.  Our CEDI Action Team on Campus Community Expectations is wrestling with these issues, and hopes to create circumstances to encourage the Carleton community to talk about our values and expectations of each other through the lens of community, equity and diversity.

Unfortunately, it's easier to find the situations where we feel Carleton's values are undermined, rather than identifying the many situations that happen every day that actually support our values.  What do you think are the Carleton Values, and how can we foster engagement with how we live them in all aspects of our lives within the Carleton community?

Expect to hear more on this topic, as our Action Team raises more questions about what our community values and expects of each other.

Sincerely,

CEDI Action Team Membership
Amy Sun, ‘11
Orion Martin, ‘11
Samir Bhala, ‘12
Kelsey Han, ‘13
Deborah Gross, faculty
Alicia Morrell, staff
Julie Thornton, staff (chair)
Ann Zawistoski, staff

CEDI Basics: The Community Equity and Diversity Initiative (CEDI) was formed in winter 2009 shortly after the results of the Campus Climate survey were shared with the community in 2008.  The survey captured opinions of over 1500 students, faculty and staff on issues related to equity and inclusivity.  The themes from the survey revealed that Carleton needed to focus on workplace equity; the climate of the learning environment both inside the classroom and outside the classroom; as well as issues surrounding sexual harassment and assault.  Task forces were formed to address these areas.

Since 2009, multiple taskforces involving faculty, staff and students have been meeting regularly and working on these above mentioned issues.  After the first full year of CEDI-work being done, a new theme emerged: a lack of campus community expectations.  It was clear that inside the classroom and outside the classroom for students and in the workplace for faculty and staff, there was nothing that was guiding everyone here at Carleton.  So CEDI asked, “What are Carleton’s campus community expectations?”  Carleton has a mission statement.  We have a statement on diversity.  Students have community standards.  Faculty members follow the faculty handbook which includes principles outlined by AAUP.  Staff members follow an employee handbook and are connected to professional standards in specific fields.  But, what are Carleton’s principles, standards and expectations for everyone?  With that in mind, a CEDI Action Team was developed to focus on Campus Community Expectations in the realm of community, equity and diversity.

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