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Students Share Ideas and Concerns About Diversity on Campus

Chief Diversity Officer Jarvis Watson, Dean of Students/Vice President for Student Affairs Rick Gatteau and Undergraduate Student Government President Justas Klimavicius held a breakfast meeting and listening session with leaders from various student organizations on April 25.

The group brought students up to date on the Stony Brook University Plan for Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity, and talked about issues concerning the campus community. Those issues raised by the students included:

  • Safe spaces for historically underrepresented groups
  • Student involvement in carrying out the mission of the Plan for Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity
  • Challenges with inclusion and equity as it pertains to those with differing abilities
  • Graduation ceremonies for historically underrepresented groups
  • Issues that need to be implemented into the 2019/2020 working plan
  • Developing coalitions and collaborative efforts among the different groups

The group determined that the creation of ‘Brave Spaces’ on campus will be looked into.  They also discussed the new UNITI Cultural Center, which is currently in the planning stages and will be housed in the new Student Services Center.

Student leaders and concerned students will be able to join the Student Diversity Leadership Council, as well as participate in a Student Diversity Leadership Conference, which will take place in October 2019.

The Dean of Students and senior leadership met with the Undergraduate Student Government and addressed concerns regarding access buttons and signage on campus. In May, various offices met to address the concerns regarding ADA and community members with differing abilities.  This group will have ongoing meetings throughout the year to offer solutions and strategies to solved raised concerns during the Spring 2019 semester.

For those underrepresented groups that are interested in developing a graduation ceremony, they should inform the Office of Student Engagement and Activities and/or the Dean of Students Office.

The Chief Diversity Office and the Dean of Students plan to work more collaboratively with diversity, inclusion, and equity in areas such as Fraternities and Sororities, USG Leadership, Office of Multicultural Affairs, The UNITI Cultural Center and The LGBTQ* Center.

The group also discussed the PRODiG initiative, which aims to increase the representation of historically underrepresented faculty. Learn more about PRODiG at the Diversity website.

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