Topic: What is WSU doing to promote a healthy and equitable campus climate and culture?
Recent challenges/opportunities: The WSU community actively voiced concerns and shared feelings of unrest after several incidents and events targeting marginalized student, staff and faculty ramped up in the fall of 2016 and continued through spring 2018. Protests, marches, and sit-in’s were held to bring attention to these concerns, and specific actions were requested to improve campus climate.
- In May 2017, WSU President Kirk Schulz directed Provost and Executive Vice President Dan Bernardo and Vice President for Student Affairs Mary Jo Gonzales to engage the University’s students, faculty, and staff in formulating a comprehensive plan to improve WSU’s campus culture and climate.
- In order to provide the most timely response and care to students during incidents, an existing Bias Advisory Response Team was restructured over the summer of 2017.
- An Associate Vice President for Community, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence position was established with an anticipated start date of July 2018, to be an advocate for all students and foster an institutional climate across the university.
Current/future areas of emphasis or next steps:
- Under the new Associate Vice President for Community, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence, campus departments will realign under a Student Affairs pillar centered on building community.
- Five working groups developed as part of the Campus Culture and Climate comprehensive plan will implement recommendations for creating a more inclusive and welcoming community at WSU campuses system-wide. Working groups include Review of WSU Executive Policy 15 which prohibits discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct; Gender Inclusive and Trans* Support; Diverse Faculty and Staff; Cultural Competency; and Cultural and Resource Centers.
- Support mechanisms enacted for DACA students including a comprehensive set of resources, legal consultation, peer support groups and events, an advisory board and a strategic working group.
- Training and outreach education on free speech practices and communication regarding campus policy and laws relevant to free speech at WSU.
For more information at WSU:
- Campus, Culture and Climate
- News release regarding campus climate issues
- News release regarding campus climate town hall meeting
- News release regarding video posting
- Message from the president: Hate has no place at WSU
NWCCU Standards Reference: 2.D.2, 2.D.12