College of Liberal Arts Diversity
Campus Climate Statement (Dec 12, 2014)
This week over one hundred and fifty students, faculty, administration, and community members participated in meetings, protests, and die-ins aimed at addressing racial prejudices by police and courts. These prejudices are not only taking place in Ferguson and New York City. They have been manifested in many forms on our campus as well, including hate crimes, racial profiling, epithets yelled from vehicles, taunts in local bars, and numerous other everyday racially-focused aggressions.
These are just a few examples that students have cited when speaking about Purdue’s hostile climate for individuals from minority backgrounds. As members of the Diversity Action Committee of the College of Liberal Arts, we strive to address and find ways to resolve the discrimination students tell us they experience daily.
As a college, we are committed to working with our colleagues across campus to create and maintain an inclusive and safe campus climate, one that is a healthy environment for academic and personal growth. The College of Liberal Arts does not tolerate discrimination in any fashion, within the College or anywhere else on campus.
The purpose of this statement is to publicly acknowledge the racism that continues to occur on Purdue’s campus, urge our colleagues and the University to directly address the concerns raised about a campus culture that allows racial insensitivity to persist, and to begin in earnest the work needed to effect change. The Diversity Action Committee wants Liberal Arts students and all members of the Purdue community to know that we hear you, we support your concerns, and we stand with you in the process of actively finding solutions to address issues of climate and safety in and around our community.
We join the growing number of voices calling for respectful dialogue about race relations on campus, and urge our colleagues to display their support and care for underrepresented students. There is no place for hate, brutality, and discrimination on our campus.
As Dr. Christine Taylor, Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, stated in her letter to today’s (12/12/14) Exponent, we each have a part to play in building a supportive campus climate. It is our collective responsibility to find solutions to reduce such incidents, so that all of our students, staff, and faculty can thrive.
Members of the College of Liberal Arts Diversity Action Committee: Guadalupe Acosta-Roberts (Liberal Arts Counseling & Student Services), Guillermo Caballero (Graduate student), Joel Ebarb (School of Visual and Performing Arts), Talin Lindsay (Anthropology Department), Lorraine Kisselburgh (Chair) (School of Communication), Michael Loeffelman (Liberal Arts Honors Program), Joan Marshall (Liberal Arts Dean’s Office), LaTasha Swanson (Liberal Arts Counseling & Student Services), and Kameron Townsend (Undergraduate student).
Forum: Mental Health Issues in Diverse Populations (Nov 12, 2014)
In response to concerns about disparities in mental health support for students in diverse and underserved populations (e.g., ethnic minorities, LGBT students, international students, students with disabilities, returning veterans, and low-income students), the CLA Diversity Action Committee hosted a town hall discussion on November 12, which included a panel of speakers discussing campus resources, challenges for students in diverse populations, and student perspectives on navigating campus support systems.
Topics raised at the forum included: seeking support from “someone who is like me,” cultural stigmas that prevent seeking help, accessibility of services (hours, location, and eligibility), options on campus and in the community for students on limited incomes, and enhancing awareness in faculty/staff advisors and among peers to recognize when students need professional support.
Our committee is currently summarizing this discussion and will provide a report to Dean Weiser identifying the major issues and our recommendations for action. If you were unable to attend the forum or respond to our earlier survey, we invite additional comments and feedback through this anonymous form:
Thank you for your participation and input!
Additional links about the forum are available below:
- Flores, T. (2014, Nov 14). Forum addresses mental health among diverse students. Lafayette Journal & Courier. http://www.jconline.com/story/news/college/2014/11/14/diverse-students-mental-health-forum/19028053/
- Checkley, H. (2014, Nov 12). Forum urges underrepresented students to participate in mental health discussion. The Purdue Exponent. http://www.purdueexponent.org/campus/article_4f8e6c57-9ae0-5719-a05c-634152e752bb.html
- Patterson Neubert, A. (2014, Nov 3). Event highlights, seeks input on campus resources for mental health in diverse populations. Purdue Today. http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2014/Q4/event-highlights,-seeks-input-on-campus-resources-for-mental-health-in-diverse-populations.html
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