Diversity task force releases updates

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

“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.