Student Activities/Center for Fraternity and Sorority Development
Building a True Community
Staff in the Department of Student Activities and Center for Fraternity and Sorority Development take seriously the well-being of students and staff, and we will continue to work to foster a work environment and campus community that is welcoming, inclusive, and just to all. Each member of our staff understands their responsibility as educators and members of this community to reduce/eliminate the prejudice, bigotry, and racism that is rooted in ignorance, fear, and hatred. We all come at this topic not as experts but as individuals genuinely concerned about who we are as a community, how we treat one another, and how we can help those around us learn and grow in a safe and civil environment. We are all available and willing to talk with you more about this important topic. Don’t hesitate to contact any of us individually or at email@example.com. Please also be reminded that more information about bias-related incidents and the role you can play in reporting such acts can be found here.
Our Overarching Goal is to ensure that staff and students feel - and in fact are - recognized, welcomed, supported and valued as individuals of different identities, and that they feel - and in fact are - as prepared as possible to recognize, welcome, support and value others in our community of different identities.
With that goal in mind we will aim to (outcomes):
- Enhance staff’s understanding of, appreciation for, and ways to address the history and systemic aspects of racism – from societal to institutional (e.g. UConn) and the possible implications and application of the Racial Identity Development model on our programs/program development process.
- Gain a better understanding of student perceptions of us – as a department and our programs – in relation to their identities and the support and respect they feel while/when interacting with us.
- Gain a better understanding of individual staff’s experiences in relation to their identities and the support they receive from/within the department (e.g. supervisors, colleagues, etc).
During the Summer and Fall of 2020 we took several steps and began putting key initiatives in place that will help us move forward in pursuit of these goals.
- Began reviewing and instituting measures to promote/increase the purchase of program supplies from minority owned businesses (MBOs)
- Emphasized the prioritization of future professional development funding requests specifically to topics of diversity/racism, etc.
- Set 20-21 assessment/outcomes goals to LOs related to diversity/anti-racism education.
- We also will be exploring re-instituting the student participant demographic survey for the coming year to better understand who our program participants are – in their own words.
We formed three Teams specifically designed to examine and support the achievement of our goals – focusing on three distinct aspects of our work – students, staff, and programs. Initial staff representation on these teams spans Student Activities and Fraternity and Sorority Development with approximately one-half of the total staff serving on a team.
- Professional Development Team
- Members of this team are charged with providing learning and growth opportunities for staff throughout the year. Such opportunities will include one to three staff meeting presentations/workshops per year, the identification and hosting/sharing of relevant webinars, the sharing of articles, and making other similarly focused initiatives available to staff.
- Programmatic Consultation
- This team is initially charged with developing/identifying a set of elements/characteristics/practices, etc. that are associated with programs/services that are considered to be inclusive, foster diversity, and welcoming in practice. After successful completion of this, this team will then provide on-going consultative and evaluative support to 2-4 departmental programs/services/components each year, recommending possible improvements.
- Understanding Student Perceptions
- The initial work of this team is focused on the creation and ultimate implementation of a longitudinally sound instrument to measure student perceptions of our programs/service/office with respect to the appropriate integration of social justice/anti-racist themes. Also, this team will create regularly scheduled opportunities to invite and meet with students in person to engage them in dialogue related to identities and perceptions of Student Activities.
The steps listed above are initial but are also intended to be long-lasting – if not permanent. Our goal is not ‘to do things’, but to change things – for the better. Individually and collectively we will remain on this journey. As we evolve it will evolve. We are committed to this effort and to supporting the University’s similar efforts.