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Summer Progress on Action Steps

Campus Community,

I am writing to update you on important steps completed over the summer that advance our efforts toward an improved campus climate.

In the spring, I detailed 10 tangible steps to the Student Association Executive Council. Since that time, those charged with implementing parts of the action plans have made strides and detailed their progress through weekly updates we have posted online.

Here are some highlights of that effort: 

  • A new Bias Response Team, co-chaired by University Police Chief Pat Rascoe and Interim Chief Diversity Officer Portia Turco, has been established. It will serve as the coordinating hub of a network of existing campus resources, focused on ensuring an appropriate response effort in a timely manner to bias acts and hate crimes. You will hear more about this work soon.
  • A multicultural center within the heart of our campus, Angell College Center, is now under construction. It will open its doors in the spring semester. 
  • A Social Justice Task Force met throughout the summer. Earlier this month members presented recommendationsfor promoting and sustaining social justice. Its recommendations are thoughtful and workable. Some points cover areas where we are already advancing. Campus leadership is examining all of these efforts collectively as we move forward. Additionally, to continue their important work, a permanent Social Justice Advisory Council is being formed. It will include a wide range of representatives.
  • The Student Affairs web pagenow includes the revised 2018-2019 Student Conduct Manual.  This revised manual has been approved by the College Council.
  • We are working with the United Way of the Adirondack Region to initiate wider conversations and leverage community resources to address concerns that extend beyond campus. These will be developed through the fall.
  • The Affirmative Action Officer presented the program’s progress to campus leaders in June.

There is much work ahead as we seek to nurture an atmosphere in which all persons can work and study in an environment that is inclusive, welcoming, and based on mutual respect. Our efforts will continue and we will keep you informed.

John Ettling

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