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Division of Student Affairs

Cultural Competency Work Group

So far, the committee has met twice as a group to discuss “cultural competency and ally trainings.” The committee includes staff, students, and faculty from across the WSU community has already brought people together who are committed to transforming the culture, curriculum, and everyday experiences so WSU is not only empowering for each and every member of this community but so we leading toward the creation of a community based in justice, inclusion, and equity.

Our goals are multi-pronged:

  • Develop clear set of learning goals and principles of community for all faculty, students, and staff as it relates to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Review existing trainings (through an examination both training materials and participating in trainings as possible), evaluating whether or not existing trainings are meeting expressed goals and what sorts of changes/additions are needed. As part of this process, the committee will also look at the existing research and best practices at other institutions.
  • Develop resources/processes/materials to enhance, streamline, and empower existing trainings as well as future trainings to improve campus climate, prepare faculty, staff, and students to be sources of equity and inclusion on and off campus.
  • Make recommendations as to types of trainings, development of new trainings, oversight, and steps forward

In our two meetings, we have begun to develop a clear understanding of the levels of consciousness and literacy students should have when they start WSU as to foster a climate that is both empowering and rewarding to all who are members of our communities.  We have and will continue to discuss what sorts of tools, understandings, and mastery students should have upon graduation.  We think it is imperative that when WSU students graduate they enter into the workface, into communities, and into society as a whole ready and able to create a more just world. They must leave with literacy and tools that prepare them to confront pressing issues in our society.

Our work is not limited to preparing student but also faculty, administrators, and staff.  It is imperative that faculty, administrators, and staff be equally prepared to create a diverse, inclusive, and equitable WSU community. They must be change agents. 

As such, we have begun to develop a list of critical elements that we think each faculty, staff, and students should understand.  They include, but are not limited to: privilege; equity; diversity; inclusion; racism; sexism; homophobia; xenophobia; inclusive language; intersectionality; micro aggressions; stereotypes; stereotype threat; implicit bias; institutional racism; power; strategies of intervention; allyship; and so much more.

Our next steps include the follow:

  • Solicit feedback from students, faculty, and staff as to what we want students, faculty, and staff to know about diversity, equity, inclusion and justice. We will send out a qualtrics survey in coming days. We ask you to submit feedback to further assist us in the process. In order for this to be effective and transformative, we need to hear from as many stakeholders as possible. Thank you in advance!
  • Review existing trainings at WSU as to assess strengths, weaknesses, and areas of significant improvement.
  • Review trainings and institutional programs at other universities as to gauge best practices toward improving campus climate at WSU. Ultimately, we provide benchmarking study comparing PAC 12 and IEC peers related to programs, trainings, and efforts to foster equity, diversity and inclusion
  • Develop processes to oversee WSU “cultural competency and ally” training programs
  • Create resource page that has useful research; curricula; pedagogical tools; best practices; information as to people and units on campus engaged in diversity, equity, and inclusion work
  • Identify communities that should be required to have yearly trainings (e.g. resident life; first year students; ASWSU; chairs; student publications). Recommend implementation
  • Propose and create the development of trainings to fill in gaps as to foster improved campus climate and preparedness inside and outside the WSU community
  • Work with UCORE committee to align diversity requirement with “cultural competency and ally” needs.

This is important work for transforming WSU.  We appreciate the continued efforts from those throughout the community to demand change.  We are working diligently and will continue to so until WSU is a place that is welcoming and empowering to each and every member of the campus community.

Submitted by: David Leonard