Last week, as we welcomed our students to spring quarter, I expect many of you noticed new t-shirts, buttons, and signs promoting key phrases from our Community Standard. While we always extend a big “welcome” at each quarter’s launch, this quarter’s welcome has a little more behind it and I wanted to let you know what is happening and why.
Many employees and students were asking questions about the changes they have seen nationally and globally and what this means for us at Shoreline. I have heard from you — and certainly feel myself — that we need to learn new and better ways to have constructive conversations with each other. I also heard we need to know what actions we can take to uphold our deeply held values of respect, inclusion, and student engagement at the College.
Our Shoreline Community College Community Standard reflects a process that we engaged in winter and spring 2015 and captures in words the values that are reflected on our campus. Drawing on our Community Standard, we are taking the following actions this quarter:
- We created a #You Are Welcome Here” video and are sharing it on social media and in various venues across campus.
- We have new #YouAreWelcomeHere t-shirts and buttons for sale at the bookstore for employees ($5 per t-shirt, $1 per button). Students can pick up free t-shirts and buttons in the Student Leadership Center.
- Beginning April 19, and each Wednesday thereafter, we encourage employees and students to wear their #YouAreWelcomeHere t-shirts and buttons to show we care about our collective values of respect, inclusion, and student engagement.
- There is a Community Standard response protocol in place to address any acts of intolerance if they unfold on campus.
- We will offer bystander training to the administrative team and faculty this month so that we can learn how to respond if we hear or see someone taking actions that are contrary to our Community Standard. I had an initial conversation with Chief Shop Steward Jerry Owens to discuss offering bystander training for classified staff during spring term.
- We will hold an interactive conversation on “Why Do We Value Free Speech?” this Friday, April 14 (1:30-3:30 p.m., PUB Main Dining Room) with Michele Storms, Deputy Director, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Washington. I hope you will join this discussion about how we express our ideas in a diverse society and what it means to disagree and live in community. Come explore ways to address the challenges of living together in the face of differences in expression and ideas.
- We have joined the Office of Student Life’s conversation series From Margin to Center. Dr. Christopher Parker, professor of political science at the University of Washington and Devin Burghart, VP for the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights, will provide a conversation on Monday, May 1 (11:30-12:30 p.m.) entitled White Fright: From Redemption to Donald Trump – the dynamics of race and racism from the Civil War through present day.
Please share your ideas on respectful actions we can take to better serve our students and each other by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cheryl Roberts, Ed.D.