Two Committees on campus that you should know about

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Two Committees on campus that you should know about

Photo by Coby Berg

Photo by Coby Berg

Photo by Coby Berg

Photo by Coby Berg

by Jessica Wood, Staff Reporter

There are two committees dedicated to diversity, inclusion and equality at Simpson College, which have all been large topics across campus in the past weeks. 

The two committees are the President’s Committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, also known as PCDEI, and the Committee on Academic Diversity and Inclusion, also known as ADI. Both of these committees have been around for about a year. 

“The goals of the President’s Committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are to support Simpson College’s commitment to creating and maintaining a creative, diverse, just, and inclusive community in which all develop their abilities to live and thrive in a complex and interconnected world,” said Walter Lain, who co-chairs PCDEI with Patti Woodward-Young. 

CADI chair, Miriam Kammer, explains there are six responsibilities of CADI, according to the Faculty Handbook on page 11. These responsibilities include; assisting faculty search committees to ensure that diversity and inclusion concerns are represented and to consult with relevant student and campus groups, such as PRIDE, Latinos Unidos, MSA, the WRC, and the Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee. 

Both committees’ goals and responsibilities coincide with the Inclusivity Statement of Simpson College. 

“Consistent with our educational mission, we recognize ourselves as a community that respects individual identities linked to varying socio-cultural characteristics including, but not limited to: race, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship, first language, religious or spiritual tradition, age, functional ability, socioeconomic status, physical attributes or familial status,” Simpson College Inclusivity Statement found on Simpson’s website read.

Some students don’t know that these committees exist and are slightly skeptical about how “comfortable” they can make a classroom in which a student already feels like they cannot share their opinion. 

“I was never aware of these committees. I think that it is important that students know that they exist so their voices are heard by someone,” said Naja Jones, a sophomore. “However, I’m not sure how much these committees could do to make them more comfortable.”

Other students like Heidi Ekborg-Ott know about these committees based on their involvement on campus. Ekborg-Ott is the International/Multicultural UGA and was invited by Lain to one of the CADI on behalf of the multicultural and international students and the various clubs such as ISO, MSA and LU. 

“If I had not accepted this position, I am sure I would not have had the slightest clue that these committees existed,” Ekborg-Ott said. “I also do believe that it is crucial that students be informed about both CADI and PCDEI, so that the committees can fulfill their purpose and help the students work towards the betterment of Simpson College diversity and inclusion. It isn’t something that has been talked about much among the students. However, the more students that know about these committees, the better. It doesn’t do anyone any good to stay in the dark about these topics.”

These committees think it is important that students know that they exist and there are groups who care on campus.  

“I think it is important for students to know that every year there is a set, organized group of faculty members dedicated to doing this type of work,” Kammer said.

“In 2018, a strategic plan focused on three components; Leadership commitment, workforce representation for staff and faculty and Campus and classroom culture,” Lain said.  “Student voices have always been a part of and are important to creating and maintaining a creative, diverse, just and inclusive campus we seek.” 

These committees are designed for students and the community of Simpson so they can take advantage of and use these resources the next time something happens that doesn’t support Simpson’s promises it has made to its students.

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