Tuesday, June 18th, 2024

MU Continues Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

In Haywood’s report, Millersville was noted for providing opportunities to learn more about diversity, equity and inclusion.

Earlier this year, State Senator Art Haywood and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission released a report on racial harassment at state schools. Haywood embarked on his “ENOUGH Listening Tour” from April 2022 to November 2023 to visit PASSHE Schools across the state, listening to students’ experiences and taking note of each school’s efforts to address racism and build up students of color.

In Haywood’s report, Millersville University was noted for providing opportunities for students and staff to learn more about the University’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. The report also explains how Millersville University’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion is conducting research to create a comprehensive, long-term strategy for best supporting its marginalized students.

The University’s Chief Diversity Officer, Carlos Wiley, explains that the specific goals of this research are to first find out why students of color might leave Millersville or why they are successful at the University. “We’re also conducting an equity scorecard to see what inequities exist that may be blocking students of color from being successful,” he adds. “Or, if students are successful, we’re hoping to discover how to upscale those things that are helping them.”

Wiley also notes that to meet student needs, the Intercultural Center is looking to expand its staff to further facilitate all departments on campus to work on their own plans for inclusive excellence. “This way, we can better serve and meet the needs of our students of color, along with all of our marginalized student populations.”

In addition to this research, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion ensures there are many opportunities to provide information to the community, including in-person and online workshops. Through the Intercultural Center, these workshops focus on four different components: the art of listening, cultivating connection and belonging, dismantling our prejudices and building empathy and self-awareness. In the fall, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion will offer non-credited certificates related to these workshops.

The report also highlights the importance of having these conversations about diversity and inclusion in the classroom. “Students from different backgrounds can engage with students who may have differing beliefs and cultural practices that they can engage with. This will make our students better equipped to enter a diverse workforce,” Wiley adds.

“Through the research we’re doing, we will also get more in-depth information from students around their experiences with racial harassment or bigotry,” Wiley concludes. “We can then begin to build in some programs for events like orientations and EPPIIC Welcome Weekend, which will allow us to talk to students about where they can report these things and what steps have already been taken for us to address them.”

Additionally, the Behavioral Intervention Team provides a form for students to report harassment and discrimination, which Wiley notes helps the University respond to situations in real-time. The Behavioral Intervention Team is designed to help assist in situations where students, faculty or staff are displaying disruptive or threatening behaviors that potentially impede their own or others’ ability to function successfully or safely.

For more information about the form, click here.

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