Campus of Difference

Program Overview

"It is not enough to be compassionate. You must act."

- His holiness Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama, 1992

The Beginning of the Initative
C of D Objectives for 1997-98
C of D Objectives for 1998-99

The Beginning of the Campus of Difference Initiative

In April, 1996, UMM began a three year collaboration with the Anti-Defamation League's A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE INSTITUTE®, established in 1985 to combat prejudice and foster inter group understanding and communication. As we move into the future, it is important to acknowledge the accomplishments and activities of our first year:

  • The program's introduction in the fall of 1996 launched a campus-wide initiative asking students, faculty, and staff to take action in creating a campus community where each student can receive the full benefit of the University of Minnesota, Morris experience. Resident Advisors,Orientation Group Leaders, Student Affairs staff, the Administrative Committee,faculty, and staff were briefed and invited to join in the effort to help members of a diversse community "find common ground."

  • On the first Friday of classes, the Diversity Jam idea suggested by UMM student Malinda Miller was implemented. Participants made pledges to take action on diversity issues and to work to "Find Common Ground" in the year ahead. Approximately 225 people attended, with many requests that the program continue. A total of six Diversity Jams were held during the year.

  • The program targeted first year students through Orientation (85% participation rate) and Residence Life (90% of first year students live on campus). Orientation sessions included revisions of the Your New Reality and College Challenges sessions - 450 students were impacted. Residence Life programs included use of exercises from the Campus of Difference program during the first floor meetings - 550 students were impacted.

  • A four hour Campus of Difference Cultural Awareness workshop was held for resident advisors, orientation group leaders, students, staff, and faculty. By the end of 1996-97, 211 people had participated in the workshops. Evaluation comments were positive and included:
    "I really appreciated the opportunity to participate in this seminar. It opened my eyes to areas I should explore more in depth. . .for my personal growth."
    "I thought that the night turned out pretty good. I especially thought that the brainstorming of actions we can take really made me think of what I've done in the past and what I can do in the future. There were some really good ideas presented."
    "I have to say that I am very overwhelmed by this program right now. I feel a bit mind-boggled. Coming from a non-racial, non-anything but white community, I feel as though this has opened my eyes."

  • A Diversity Peer Educators group was created with 18 students and 7 staff collaborators participating in a 14 hour "Training the Trainers" program facilitated by the Campus of Difference staff October 10-12. Diversity Peer Educators facilitated programs for each residence hall living community during November; 19 programs were presented with 201 students participating. Evaluation comments were positive and included:
    I learned that. . ."different people know different things; to break down stereotypes; stereotypes are wrong; to be open-minded; I don't know as much as I thought about diversity; it's not necessary to know all ethnic stereotype things now - I just have to make an effort; how Asians, Hispanics and Jews have been left out of history, entertainment; to educate myself; everyone is diverse; listening is at times the most important thing you can do; the Minority Center is for everyone; we are taught non-diverse things."
    Action steps I hope to take. . .""become a DPE next year; see more foreign films; keep talking; pay attention to people who are making a difference; keep following ropes; meet others who are not similar to me; attend more diversity events; be open-minded; try to understand people for who they are, and confront bigotry and racism; get more residents involved; lead by example; accept and embrace all personalities; promote campus unity by celebrating commonality; cut homophobia big time; go to Diversity Jams!"

  • A list of courses with multicultural emphasis, which had been started earlier by Fred Peterson, was updated with the help of the Dean, the Division Chairs, and faculty and publicized prior to Fall Quarter registration so students could learn about the many diverse courses which already existed. This list will continue to be updated each year and made available to students and advisors.

Campus of Difference Objectives for 1997-98

1. Planning Committee

  • Add faculty members.
  • Institutionalize structure.

2. Resident Advisor Training

  • Include a personal development component and a skill development component (listening, empathy, etc.).
  • Hold separate training sessions for RAs and OGLs.
3. Diversity Peer Educators (DPEs)
  • Structure in place to support organization.
  • Recruitment; roles for first year students.
  • Create programs that go "deeper."
  • Continue Fall training - good/essential; do quarterly retreats to maintain connections.
4. Add Diversity 102
  • Articulate expectations, i.e. campus and diversity issues; deeper programs require trust.
5. Reach and include groups not represented.

6. Support creation of the Common Course (course focus = human diversity)

  • Integrate efforts.
  • Peers providing development support to faculty.
7. Create an assessment plan to measure the impact of the initative and attitude change.

8. Involve campus ministries group; link with Minnesota Council of Churches initiative on racism.

9. Help to create a campus climate where students feel comfortable in diaglogue about differences.

10. Continue staff training and have two levels (101 & 102).

Campus of Difference Objectives for 1998-99

1. Increase faculty involvement in Campus of Difference initiatives: enhance student learning in a diverse campus community; help students benefit from the diversity around them; prepare students for leadership and life in a multicultural world.

a. Encourage people to attend the Fall Faculty Workshop Sept. 14-15. Focus: "Walking on Hot Coals; Goals for Diversity in the Curriculum

  • provide information about the Campus of Difference Initiative/DPEs
  • provide t-shirts for attendees

b. Support planning for the Common Course/First Year Seminar - focuses on the broad theme of human diversity; offered beginning Fall Semester, 1999.

c. Promote the possibility of a faculty/artist/scholar of color in residence for a semester or 1/2 semester through U of M Bridge funding (or possibly UMM Salt Springs funds - American Indian scholar/artist; use Bush collaboration group for faculty exchanges with tribal colleges and historically black colleges)

2. Continue and enhance training efforts, especially "102" level/deeper programs:

  • Lee Mun Wah's "Walking Each Other Home" premier?
  • Multicultural Student Leadership Retreat over MLK weekend?
  • Terry Tafoya (speaker)?

3. Support student initiatives and grass roots efforts/outreach. Increase attendance and participation.

4. Communicate Campus of Difference '98-99 initiatives and target areas for faculty involvement, staff involvement, and student involvement. Be visible.

5. Work with students who go abroad and then return.

6. Develop links with the Morris community: promoting events; instituting "community of difference" training plan; collaboritively address discrimination issues; participate in "Community in the Park."

7. Continue and expand staff training; create an understanding of and appreciation of difference among staff.

8. Take action with the physical environment subcommittee, including:

  • "passive programming" (posters, inclusive artwork, etc.);
  • products in community;
  • commission a sculptural work/artwork by Mathew Uses Knife for Turtle Mountain Cafe (funders? Student Center, Salt Springs, HFA Gallery, Alumni Association?)

9. Do Diversity Jams once a quarter and make them a big deal. Include new Peace Pole dedication at Jam#1.

10. Coalition building with student groups using Rusty Barcelo's resources (Diversity Institute programs - Linda Wolford, Director)

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