CDI: Culturally Engaging Campus Environments Survey

Photo Courtesy of Lewis & Clark College

        The Committee on Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) released its Culturally Engaging Campus Environments (CECE) Survey on Oct. 31. The survey will close on Dec. 7. The survey is designed to measure the inclusiveness and equity of campus environments.

The survey serves to create dialogue that is centered on the things that matter most when serving diverse student populations, diagnose campus environments from an inclusion and equity perspective, identify where these environments can be improved and develop plans to cultivate more inclusive and equitable environments; and create environments that maximize success among all students regardless of their backgrounds and identities.         

        CDI most likely will not obtain the survey results until the beginning of the spring semester. They hope to present the information at various forums planned in the spring. According to Program Manager of CDI and Executive Assistant to the Dean of Diversity and Inclusion Bruce Taft, CDI will then utilize this feedback to create a diversity strategic plan to address the challenges identified by the survey and other input mechanisms.

        According to CDI member Glenna Gee-Taylor ’18, the CECE survey is a tool for CDI to perceive where LC can help improve student life as an institution as well as the changes CDI should implement in order to further enhance diversity and inclusion on campus.

        “I think this survey will help steer CDI towards the issues that affect students the most, which will be incredibly helpful,” Gee-Taylor said.

        Besides the CECE survey, CDI has been working intently on the revision of the draft Action Plan that was proposed in the spring. CDI obtained input on the action plan at a student forum and they have finalized it so it will be as effective as possible in shaping future institutional changes.

        According to graduate student and CDI member Linda Eguiluz, CDI is further working on creating focus groups to gather additional feedback from students regarding CDI work and progress.

        “I am looking forward to working with Jes Bradshaw, the other graduate school student representative, on the focus groups, as well as getting to read the results of the survey and start working on making Lewis & Clark a more inclusive place for all our students,” Eguiluz said.

CDI member Kodai Kubota ’19 says that CDI has also evaluated when and how it should respond to situations both on-campus and off-campus. Their most recent initiative is developing post-election plans to best support all members of the community.

“I look forward to seeing both our Action Plan and Post Election Response take shape and witnessing how it will impact our community,” Kubota said.

According to CDI member and Director of Marketing and Communications Stacey Kim, CDI is organizing communications seminars that will be available to the entire campus community in February. As stated in the StirFry Seminars & Consulting Innovative Tools for Diversity Training site, participants will “learn ways to ask questions that illuminate rather than create walls”, “discover the importance of curiosity as a tool towards empathy”, and “learn ways to develop the art of associating content with non-verbal styles of communication”, among others.

Kim enjoys the diverse and intelligible committee of over 20 people of faculty, staff, and students from all three campuses.

“I value getting to work with colleagues who are so committed to making [LC] ever more inclusive and equitable,” Kim said. “This is emotional, raw, and challenging work, and everyone on the committee takes it extremely seriously. We’ve had some heated discussions, but always with respect and in the spirit of progress for the institution.”

Dean for Diversity and Inclusion Janet Steverson leads and educates the committee and is commended upon by CDI members.

“[Steverson] has quickly become a strong and knowledgeable voice in institutional decision-making,” Vice President and Provost Jane Atkinson said. “She is an impressive leader who is doing an extraordinary job of getting to know and understand the cultures of our three schools, the distinct perspectives of various members of the campus community, and the issues that need to be addressed.”

CDI aims to implement positive change and build bridges between various people in the LC communities.

I love to serve in the CDI because it gives me the opportunity to help make change and support students at my alma mater when it comes to diversity and inclusion,” Taft said. “Also, I just want to make an impact however I can at LC for as long as I’m here.”

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