Tech’s Institute of Diversity partnered with the Division of Student Life and Undergraduate Education to create the Implementation Committee, which will to carry out recommendations put forth by the Black Student Experience Task Force in order to ensure a “welcoming, inclusive campus.” The committee features students and leaders from Institute Diversity, Student Life and Undergraduate Education and recently released an update on its progress to address 11 recommendations.

Updates on the progress of, and with recommendations for new actions, are released quarterly by the task force until the end of the 2018-19 academic year. The recommendations are separated into the four impact areas, including: programs, trainings, physical spaces and planning and
assessments.

“As we enter the second year of implementation, our priorities are to identify ways to substantively impact bias education within the campus community,” said Vice President of Institute Diversity Archie Ervin, who chairs the task force. “The implementation committee is also looking more expansively at the recommendations and connecting them to broader campus issues.”

Of the task force’s 57 areas for improvement, eight have been completed to date, 30 are  in progress and 19 are on the agenda to be addressed before their three-year cycle ends in 2019.

Four of the recommendations released on Aug. 25 fall under the programs category and include changes to academic, orientation, intercultural student and reporting system programs. The main academic program, Challenge, set a new goal of 175 underrepresented minority and women students by 2019. This past summer the Challenge program welcomed its largest group to Tech with 54% women, 68% of whom were black.

The orientation programs feature changes to FASET and GT 1000 in an effort to identify a broader orientation process beyond just FASET each year. This includes showing videos highlighting Tech’s diversity at FASET and conducting workshops on diversity and inclusion for GT 1000 instructors before classes begin.

In addition, the Implementation Committee plans to work hand-in-hand with students in efforts to gain feedback on community and climate issues that they can then develop solutions for. Lastly, the committee is working to develop a system where students can report discrimination and harassment through an updated EthicsPoint portal this upcoming fall.

Both the trainings and the planning and assessment impact areas saw three recommendations, each which feature changes to community orientation and training, cultural inclusivity leadership training, continued training and support offered to Greek education for training and initiatives to continue and improve the strategic plan, campus climate assessment and institutional climate change and growth.

For the physical spaces category, the task force outlined goals of identifying space and  support for the Multicultural Center as part of the Student Center expansion.

  • Rick from Music City

    I’m an alumnus (AE ‘85) and I remember the ‘Nique from way back when “liveliest paper” meant something. I’m disappointed to see what stands in for the ‘Nique today. I came to the site in hopes of some reassurance, in the wake of the tragic suicide by cop incident that as in the old days, Tech students are honest sensitive and have a good sense of discernment. But instead I find little to suggest the character of a human student writer, and two divisive articles about “diversity” indoctrination, as if that were a good thing. I value diversity (in which people who are very different set aside their natural prejudices to connect, to value and respect differences and collaborate to do great things drawing on individual talents, approaches and insights.
    But these programs appear to be against real diversity, for intellectual oppression and falsely teaching that identity politics and intersectionality have anything to do with diversity when the reverse is the truth. And now racial quotas are to be deemed a step forward? We had quotas in my day, both for state resident admissions and for race admissions and it hurt people. Tech had a national reputation to uphold, so it weeded out many of the hopeful students it had admitted. I watched the slow-motion heartbreak of in-state freshmen and black classmates who only learned on arrival they ought to have gone to a different perfectly good school, but were sent home in humiliation. I watched a low-income white classmate, the first in his family to go to college, who came over his family’s objections, ask why athletes and minority students had tutoring programs but he was on his own, and I watched him go back to the mountains in defeat. I watched black friends who couldn’t hack it face fears they were an embarrassment to their race. And the black classmates who, like their non-black peers, knew at the back of their minds that being black at a school with quotas meant having an unwritten asterisk beside their achievements as if to say “he did great things, for a black guy”. This wasn’t racism; this was the impact of the fact that everyone knew we had quotas and they might have gained an advantage from them.
    The new identity based hatred was in its infancy in my day. I ran across racism once in a while but in general students and faculty considered racism to be disreputable, ignorant, evil and the last thing they’d want to be a part of. But the hate indoctrination was cranking up. When I arrived at Tech I was fluent in Spanish. One day at the student center I happened upon some pretty freshmen girls speaking Spanish so I joined the conversation. We were hitting it off and talking about the culture in their countries, their own stories, and Latin culture in campus. They suggested I join La Raza and invited me to come with them to a La Raza event for new students. I’d never heard of La Raza before. I joked about it sounding like a racist organization, was shocked to find out it was one, and that it had a mission to build a separate identity for the race that supersedes and opposes patriotism and that would look out for the interests of the race in opposition to those of other races. I was collecting my thoughts when a girl asked me to tell the story of my own own Latin heritage, and I answered that all of the ancestors I knew of were from England, Scotland and Ireland. Suddenly the girls were embarrassed at having spoken of La Raza as racist and told me it wasn’t. They withdrew the invitation to come to the event. Those happy freshmen weren’t made outsiders by the bigotry of “whites” (a fictional category), Protestants, Anglos, descendants of Confederates, political conservatives, or American exceptionalists. I was and remain all of those things and I was enthusiastically befriending them and celebrating them. No, the pig in the pastry shop that was determined to make them outsiders at Tech was La Raza, the identity group supposedly dedicated to their interests.

    Shortly after that I had a somewhat similar experience with some black students I befriended at the student center. In this case no one mistook me for black but we were celebrating our shared cultural roots in the South and they invited me to a GTAAA celebration of some sort. I was up for it but after the Raza experience I asked if this was an open event for anyone to celebrate African American culture or if it was really meant only for African Americans. They thought it over, and explained that although they considered it to be open, many members would see it as an African American space for recruiting new members and would see me as intruding. They encouraged me to ignore that and come along anyway. I thanked them for accepting me but respectfully declined the invitation.

    I love true diversity, where people aren’t pigenholed into smaller and smaller boxes, stigmatized for the sins of others and told with whom they can really be friends.
    So it’s appalling to see that Tech has drunk the false diversity cool-aide and will now add new quotas and indoctrination sessions to make sure everyone knows diversity is about thinking of people as representatives of identity groups, and that these matters really aren’t to be looked at any other way. Oh and if you’re black you will now be shunted to a special FACET program for your kind ( I wright “your kind” facetiously – how appalling for Tech to tell an incoming student his orientation program needs to be different on account of his race!