Campus-climate discussion group meets at noon Friday
All University of St. Thomas students, staff and faculty are welcome to a campus-climate discussion and action group meeting from noon to 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, in the third-floor lounge (Room 304) of Murray-Herrick Campus Center on the university’s main campus in St. Paul.
The meeting comes on the heels of two recent campus events. One was the Oct. 29 “Aspiring Social Justice Ally Development” workshop that was led by Dr. Keith Edwards and co-sponsored by seven campus organizations. The other was the series of hate crimes that took place in John Paul II Residence Hall, and the march and forum that followed on Nov. 1.
One goal of the campus-climate group is to maintain the momentum that was evident at the march and forum, one of the largest such gatherings in memory at St. Thomas. Another goal is to ensure that efforts to foster a positive campus climate are not just the responsibility of a few offices or organizations. A third goal is to create a framework where students, staff and faculty can work together on campus-climate and social-justice issues.
Friday’s meeting will begin with a review of currently scheduled programs, including Campaign Orange, UST Challenge Day, January Term Book Club, Ebony Mic Night, and Dr. Stephen Brookfield’s “Teaching About Race” workshops for faculty.
That will be followed by a brainstorming session on what can be done to improve the campus climate. Comment cards and information that originally were going to be handed out at last week’s march and forum now will be handed out at the Friday meeting. (They couldn’t be handed out last week because so many turned out for the forum that it could not be held in Murray-Herrick Campus Center as planned, but instead was held outdoors on Foley Plaza.)
For those who can’t make this meeting, the plan is have similar meetings on a regular basis. For more information, contact Tori Svoboda, associate dean of students, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Michael Glirbas, of the Registrar’s Office, at email@example.com.
“Our intent is to have this meeting on a fairly regular basis to make sure that we have ample opportunity to work together and support each other in realizing the university’s Diversity Conviction, which states: ‘We strive to create a vibrant diverse community in which, together, we work for a more just and inclusive society,’” Svoboda said.