#Canyouhearusnow?

Unless you have been living under a rock you are probably aware that there is a sit in happening at the Admissions building. The peaceful protest began Monday morning at 8 am in an effort to finally bring an end to instances of discrimination on this campus. The Association of Critical Collegians (ACC) is a force banded together by over 150 students. The sit in has resulted in over 36 hours of ACC students missing class, activities and events to prove the power of their voice to Colgate's administration. They have devised a 21 point plan regarding administrative policy changes. The sit in will end when the ACC and the Colgate administration have come to a healthy agreement. There have been countless instances of discrimination repeatedly unsanctioned and this week students are proving that they will no longer tolerate this. A change in policy is absoutely necessary. Below is the ACC mission statement and list of demands. If you would like more information here is the link to a  Change.org petition platform

https://www.change.org/p/office-of-the-president-please-support-colgate-...

 

 

To the Colgate Community:

 

Because we believe deeply in Colgate’s mission to be “an inclusive institution with diverse students and faculty” that “respects the complexity of human understanding,” that “encourages interpersonal exploration, expands mutual understanding, and supports a broadened perspective within a caring, humane community,” and that “is committed to educate students to virtue and encourages them to respond openly and sensitively to others who are different from themselves,”

 

We ask that the Colgate community stand with us not only in reflecting on the ways that we do not yet fully respond openly and sensitively to others who are different from ourselves, but also in taking decisive and deliberate action to foster full inclusivity and to make our mission a reality.  We imagine this reality as one in which every community member understands how systemic structures shape power and privilege; in which we collectively resist structural demands to assimilate, subordinate, and exclude; and in which we refuse to participate in habits of mind and interpersonal relations that foster and even perpetuate microaggressions against minority groups on a daily basis.

 

We are mindful of the varied experiences of members of the Colgate community, and we stand behind all members of our community who experience exclusion at Colgate because of aspects of their identities, including, but not limited to: ability, class, ethnicity, gender identity, language, nationality, political affiliation, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation.

 

We understand that the work of creating a culture of inclusivity is difficult work that is still very much in process, not only at Colgate, but also in the United States and in our world. To advance that work specifically at Colgate, we submit the following list of concerns and action plans as a means to remedy the shared experience of the ways that both our larger institution and our personal interactions prevent us from fulfilling our mission to become that inclusive institution.

 

Because we understand that our earliest hopes for and expectations of Colgate are formed during our admissions process, we ask

  • that admissions staff, ambassadors, and tour guides be engaged in sustained diversity training (the training must include issues of race, class, ability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity etc.)
  • that all admissions tours address issues of diversity more fully in order to articulate our complex history and our hopes for the future
  • that Recruitment Programming, including Multicultural Visit Weekends and April Visit Days, be reconsidered and restructured in ways that address varied multicultural experiences, and that prepare students for the challenges in our campus climate once they arrive on campus
  • that we create formal assessments of admissions processes to determine the efficacy and inclusivity of admissions programs and protocols

 

Because we aim to make Colgate accessible to all, regardless of socio-economic status, we ask for these reforms in our Financial Aid system:

  • that financial aid administrators and staff be engaged in sustained diversity training and that the Office of Financial Aid hire a more diverse staff
  • that our financial aid system be held accountable for providing full work study opportunities to all students who are guaranteed them in their financial aid packages; and that ample campus jobs and funds are available to meet that promise; indeed, that more monies are available to award to need-based students
  • that, because Financial Aid cannot remedy systemic socio-economic disparities, including access to transportation services, Colgate reinstate a free and safe transport system to and from Syracuse for the entire population at Colgate. This would work to alleviate the experience of isolation on the basis of socio-economic status.

 

Because campus life is shaped so fully and vibrantly by students’ relations with faculty as well as with their engagement with the curriculum, we ask:

  • that all faculty, staff, and administrators, regardless of tenure positions or academic departments, be engaged in required and sustained diversity training, through programs such as NCBI (National Coalition Building Institute) or IGD (Intergroup Dialogue) in order to bring issues of diversity and intersectionality fully into the curriculum
  • that all applications to work for Colgate (faculty and staff) state that Colgate requires or strongly suggests each candidate be familiar with conversations/issues about diversity, privilege, and intersectionality on college campuses and in the world
  • that our CORE curriculum be revised to bring in explicit study and understanding of systemic power dynamics and inequities; and how these shape even our most personal relationships with others and ourselves
    • including revising the GE requirement so it reflects the original proposal where there are discussions about international relations, imperialism, privilege, political conversations about “studying abroad,” critical conversations about “difference” etc. Professors should also be capable of having those conversations as a prerequisite for teaching the course.
    • additionally, ensuring the CORE courses include national and worldwide perspectives, not just Western traditions
  • that we hire and retain more faculty across aspects of minority identities, as noted above, from both domestic and international backgrounds; and that we actively create the conditions for them to thrive
  • that we offer full financial support to current efforts that seek to establish an Intergroup Relations Program as an academic discipline
  • that we fully publicize the EGP (Equity Grievance Panel) accountability structure so students can effectively address issues of classroom bias and inequity
  • we ask for stronger disciplinary action for hate speech of any kind
  • that we offer specific training for faculty advisors so they can help students address previous educational experiences that have left them less prepared for Colgate’s curriculum. One way this could be possible is by making the training Colgate already provides, “Academic Advising of the Whole Student,” mandatory. Initiatives like these show that Colgate both acknowledges and responds to systemic disparities in education.
  • we ask for trainings for Colgate students and faculty as preparation for study abroad. This training will include some literature and conversation about the politics of studying abroad, what it means to be “immersed” in another culture, “voluntourism”, and cultural awareness. These study abroad trainings should also include conversations on engaging with differing structures of power and privilege on a global scale. One conversation, for example, might advise students of color when they study abroad in predominantly white countries.
  • a specific faculty member within the natural sciences to advise underrepresented students

 

Additionally, to address issues that affect student life, we ask:

  • for the addition of multicultural sororities and fraternities to our community as they have the potential to provide nation-wide networks that are currently unavailable for all students
  • for cameras with audio on the cruisers as a means of accountability. This initiative responds to reported instances of racism, aggression, and micro-aggression that take place on the cruiser.
  • for a Campus climate survey specifically on race (not “diversity”)
  • for the retention rate of racial minority groups to be published alongside each class year’s racial breakdown
  • for a professional staff-level supervisor on the BAC whose job is to ensure resources are being distributed equitably across all recognized student groups (keeping in mind that some groups require more funding than others; equal distribution of funds is not always just)