The Senate endorses the following recommendations of the Senate Ad Hoc Task Force on Diversity regarding the Center for, Culture, Gender and Sexuality (CCGS). These recommendations have also been co-sponsored by the Senate Student Affairs Committee

The goal of the CCGS should be to develop an overarching sense of connectedness, pride and responsibility which links the many smaller communities that populate the SSU campus based in an institutional culture of inclusion. While its primary focus will be on specific underrepresented groups, it should be designed to provide services and programming to all enrolled students on issues related to culture, gender, and sexuality.

We recommend that:

  1. the CCGS be housed in the Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management and funds provided to that division to accomplish its primary mission in the retention of students from diverse backgrounds and secondarily supporting a campus community which embraces inclusivity;
  2. the CCGS charge be re-examined in light of the best practices for Student Affairs programs as reflected in the Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS) for Multi-Cultural Programs, as well as those based on gender and sexual orientation. In this regard, we support the recommendations of the Vice President of the Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management in light of those standards (see Appendix A);
  3. in light of those standards, the focus of CCGS should include support of programming by student clubs, as well as leadership development. We support the aims articulated by the current CCGS interns (see Appendix B);
  4. the CCGS sponsor events that support participation of its various constituency groups and foster campus-wide collaboration;
  5. there be more than one discrete employee in the CCGS whose responsibility is to provide services to each of the primary target populations: women, multicultural and Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual, Transgendered and Questioning (GLBTQ) students;
  6. all those employed in positions with the CCGS have the demonstrated knowledge, skills and abilities to work across areas of diversity and support issues of social justice;
  7. current faculty and Student Service Professionals who are qualified to work across areas of diversity be considered on a reassigned part-time basis annually;
  8. an advisory board be created for the CCGS with faculty, staff, student and community representatives and reflect the constituencies it is designed to serve and that this board report to the appropriate Vice President;
  9. the CCGS be part of a strong support network on campus for students to provide victim advocacy;
  10. adequate physical spaces be identified that allow for the needs of various constituencies with a private office (for confidential meetings);
  11. services based upon gender (including those devoted to sexual assault prevention and response) be clearly identified and not be fragmented across several employees and departments across campus; and
  12. the name of the center be reviewed to ensure that it reflects the scope of the communities it serves.

To help implement these recommendations, several of the members of the Ad Hoc Task Force on Diversity have indicated a willingness to work with the Division of Administration and Finance and/ or the Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management to help develop a plan for the Center.

We invite the Associated Students to join us in co-sponsoring these recommendations.

We urge that a copy of these recommendations also be forwarded to the President, the Extended Cabinet, and the Members of the President’s Diversity Council.

Unanimously approved at the Ad Hoc Task Force on Diversity meeting, 3/30/09.

Unanimously endorsed by the Academic Senate 5/7/09

Appendix A

The Senate Ad Hoc Task Force on Diversity also support the following recommendations of the Vice President of the Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management based on best practices, Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education, 2006.

The CCGS must work to create an engaging climate for students by advocating for the following opportunities and encouraging students take advantage of them:

  • campus and community service including leadership opportunities
    practice in leadership including training, education, and development
  • access to appropriate mentors and role models
  • shared inter and intra social experiences

The CCGS must work to create a just campus climate by:

  • challenging tacit and overt prejudices or discrimination against students
  • coordinating efforts to promote multicultural sensitivity and the elimination of prejudicial behaviors
  • facilitating desired changes with the cooperation of other campus entities
  • identifying and addressing impediments to the growth and development of full participation of students

The CCGS must offer to the campus community programs that increase multicultural awareness, knowledge, and skills by:

  • promoting and enhancing the understanding of a variety of cultures and historical experiences
  • promoting and enhancing the understanding of privilege, power, and prejudicial and stereotypical assumptions and understanding privilege and power
  • promoting and enhancing identity development
  • teaching skills on how to combat racism, homophobia, sexism, and other forms of discrimination
    complementing the academic curricula

As pointed out by the Ad Hoc Task Force recommendations for the CCGS, there need to be services on our campus specifically based upon gender. In addition, since our SSU student body consists of predominantly women, having Women Student Programs and Services (WSPS) that address issues that disproportionately affect women, such as sexual harassment, relationship violence, rape, and disordered eating, are critically important.

According to the CAS standards, the purpose of WSPS is to promote a supportive, equitable, and safe environment for women. Combining these services with the functions of an Ombudsman’s office and Multicultural center is not consistent with CAS best practices.

Appendix B

The Senate Ad Hoc Task Force on Diversity also supports the following suggestions of current CCGS interns re: the future mission of the CCGS:

  • provide more direct support of student organizations to ensure healthy leadership transitions and connections to the Center for Student Leadership, Involvement and Service (CSLIS);
  • make certain the CCGS is a “comfort zone,” a safe place to talk about anything;
  • don’t separate the center and services into distinct [ethnic] groups – it is important to build solidarity across groups with different identities. If separated we would be in danger of losing critical mass as our ethnic minority population is small;
  • focus on building skills and better training for student leaders; and
  • aim to support inter- and intra-cultural maturity and collaboration.