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How do you believe that colleges can best combat microaggressions and discrimination on their campuses?

#diversity #college #race-discrimination

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Gaye’s Answer

It is a multifaceted approach that starts with the leadership of the college prioritizing diversity in all areas from vision, mission, policies, procedures, standards, curriculum, and human resources. Sadly, many colleges have diversity statements as tag lines, but often do not integrate these philosophies in key areas such as hiring, training, and student interactions. What makes this difficult is many college administrations won’t face issues of diversity and equity head on due to the complexity and uneasiness of the topic. A good start would be developing a wide range of diversity programs, including mandatory training and workshops for all employees (from the top down) that provide services to students. For students, a college might consider a General Education requirement about race related issues, White privilege, and inequality in the United States. Training for citizenship in a diverse society should be part of the student education requirements and experience. My hope for the future is through training and open dialog - colleges will foster a climate that is safe, supportive, and welcoming to all.

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Tesa’s Answer

Hi Chia,

This is a great question. I believe that colleges should integrate diversity elements into all curricula to educate students of our shared humanity, experiences of suffering, and common ground. This may be as simple as regularly providing case studies and examples with women, racial, and religious minorities if this material is missing in the text. In STEM courses, all students should be called on. If there is an under-representation of women in an engineering class, for instance, the college should start a club for women who code.

Further, professors should have required professional development which trains them to recognize microaggression and differential treatment of students (and themselves) in academe. It should be part of our work to address inappropriate statements and behaviors on campus (however small or large) and make the learning environment safe and fruitful for all students and faculty, regardless of personal identity, background, or other circumstances.

Dr. Rigel Hines

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Eric’s Answer

To start, this question has many perspectives to consider. The first one should always start with the offended. Why do they feel the offense and from what or who. Lets keep in mind one thing for a defused approach to the issue and that is fear. Fear on both sides and lets add unfamiliarity. Begin any resolution with this being priority to gain a clear understanding which is in fact the first hurdle to beat in order to begin a process of resolution

Eric recommends the following next steps:

Speak your thoughts and feelings to your professors and school councilor before you attempt to find out more about the offender(s)
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Chinedu’s Answer

This is a very important and complicated question. A problem prevalent in all campuses. One key step to addressing this is diversity. Having a blend of all races can often mitigate against microaggressions and discrimination. Most colleges have started tackling this heads on by at least having a discussion about it. Pretending that it doesn't exist on campuses is dangerous. On discrimination, unfortunately, it is the reality most of us live with. From a practical point of view, many people struggle to deal with this issue. Because since they never felt a discrimination, they struggle to put it in a perspective. My advice has always been in all cases and your dealings with people, be the best version of yourself. Do not dwell on what you think, some people are nicer than they look or what you might have heard about a particular group of people or race. We should have an open mind.

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Denetra’s Answer

Great question! It is definitely the school's responsibility to ensure that micro-aggressions and discrimination doesn't become a problem for their students. I believe that colleges should create a culture of diversity and inclusion. It would be a great idea to have mandatory seminars that discuss these topics to students and help them navigate how to handle these types of situations. In the seminars, the instructor can educate what micro-aggression and discriminatory behavior are and how to handle those types of situations. They could also set up a formal complaint process and have disciplinary actions outlined for offenses. It should be a no-tolerance environment for these types of behaviors.

Always speak up for yourself and get someone involved if necessary. BE YOU!!!
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Paulo Antônio Alves de’s Answer

FIrst of all, racism is a crime! It is important to denunciate this kind of crime. Nonetheless, is fundamental to improve our self esteem and looking for to participate of small groups where people discuss about discrimination and protect each other. Looking for a official groups and non officials groups for support each other.
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Michael J.’s Answer

There has been much work done developing diversity programs which have been somewhat successful. Encouraging diversity is only the first step. As important as creating a diverse population is ensuring that the culture (school, institution, business) also has a focus on inclusion. It's great to bring diverse candidates into an environment but they must also feel welcomed, appreciated and celebrated.
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Bruce’s Answer

Hello Chia,

This is a great question an a issue I think needs to be addressed vehemently. I served in the military for 20 years and we have dealt with these issues with a zero tolerance approach. I believe college leaders should take this same approach with its student body. Initially we should educate the student body on microaggressions and discrimination, to include the negative impact of these behaviors. Following education, make a no tolerance policy for these behaviors and hold violators accountable. I will also create a reporting system for victims to feel comfortable to report, which subsequently launch an investigation into the matter. Again, these issues are detrimental to the learning environment and I believe the no tolerance approach will help the colleges combat these issues. I hope that helps and thank you for your time.

Bruce Harrison

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Jennifer’s Answer

EDUCATION. I know that sounds simple, but it's the first step. All faculty and employees of the institution should have to undergo training around things like microaggressions and unconscious bias. These trainings should be mandatory and ongoing, not just a one time thing. Faculty should have goals related to inclusion included in their performance review process. The institution should also put programs in place like Student Resource Groups, where support and community can be found for those who may identify with a marginalized community. Mentorship programs are also a great resource, and can provide a safe space to talk about experiences with microaggressions or discrimination. It's definitely harder to regulate microaggression from the student body, but if there are at least support networks and safe places to talk about these experiences, it can help. Also the institution should do regular large scale events and talks on these topics that all students are able and encouraged to attend, to help build awareness and understanding throughout the population.
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