After reaching an agreement with College administrators for more student representation on College policy committees, improving campus diversity outreach efforts and engaging in collaborative dialogues with the College Committee on Inclusive Excellence (CCIE), members of the of the student group "Our Struggle Is Tied With Yours" ended their "Call 2 Action" camp out on the Chapel Lawn on Friday, April 23.
The previous Sunday, about a dozen students set up tents in front of the De La Salle statue to draw attention to a list of concerns on issues such as support for diversity on campus, student safety in dorms, increased representation on College committees and greater student participation in campus decision-making.
Provost Beth Dobkin congratulated the group for working proactively with the CCIE to help the College further its goals of inclusive excellence and for their respectful approach in pointing out opportunities for increased student involvement in campus decision making and proposing changes to campus housing policies to meet the needs of all SMC students.
To illustrate the College is committed to hearing the voices of students, starting in the fall term, Dobkin said she will hold office hours from 1:30-3 p.m. every other Monday to meet regularly with SMC students.
Other areas of concern for the student group were addressed, such as seeking funding opportunities for student leadership awards, student-initiated Jan term courses and a sustained commitment to campus diversity.
The provost stated that faculty senate members support the proposal of making cultural competency workshops mandatory. "And I will institute the requirement of all faculty to attend Campus of Difference Workshops beginning in July," said Dobkin.
Student group members expressed gratitude to College administrators, faculty and staff for taking the time to listen to them and address their concerns. "When you are talking to a provost, it can be really sort of intimidating," said junior Miguel Rodriguez. "The fact that she listened to us, it really makes me feel like we did a good job of reaching out to administrators."
After the group members signed their names to a proposal drawn up by Provost Dobkin, many felt a sense of accomplishment. "We felt that weren't being heard and that we had no voice on this campus and now we feel like we actually do," said SMC senior Jamie Baldwin.