Goal 1 Initiatives

Green Dot

#23, #24, #25 Gender Neutral Bathrooms

Proposes the creation and/or identification of gender neutral bathrooms in academic buildings and residence halls. 

We support costing out this initiative to include such bathrooms in existing academic buildings and residence halls, as well as in new construction.

Green Dot

#26, #27 Gender Neutral Housing Option for First-Year Students

Extends an existing program to include a first-year option, and meaningfully advances the aims of Goal #1. 

This option is currently available for first-year students and suggests that the community needs to do a better job of publicizing this policy.

Green Dot

#35 Intergroup Relations Program

Proposes an Intergroup Relations Program to create a sustainable, formal setting for intergroup contact and conversation, using processes of Intergroup Dialogue.  It builds on conversations already underway among faculty to formalize and sustain these pedagogies. 

It has the potential to make a broad impact on student learning, both inside and outside of the classroom, and to promote skills necessary for the work of inclusion and social justice.

Green Dot

#38 Martin Luther King Week

Strengthens, expands to an entire week, and makes sustainable existing Martin Luther King Day programming. 

Given the success of this program in meaningfully promoting the aims of Goal #1, as well as its potential to reach a large campus audience and become an expected part of Muhlenberg’s academic calendar as a space and time for reflections on Muhlenberg’s commitment to social justice, we recommend establishing a sustainable fund to support this initiative on an annual basis.

Green Dot

#41 Multicultural Life/Athletics Joint Position

Proposes to formalize and sustain a successful existing position working as a liaison between athletics and multicultural life. 

Given the success of this program in formalizing cross-campus relationships between these constituencies, as well as its potential in recruiting a more diverse population of student-athletes, we advocate assessing the cost of making this role permanent.

Green Dot

#48 Social Justice & Collaborative Leadership Retreat

Expands and makes sustainable a pilot program offered in 2010 and 2011 that facilitates the ability of student leaders to engage meaningfully with communities of difference, culminating in a three-day retreat. 

This initiative advances the aims of both Goal #1 and Goal #5.  There is some minor concern that this initiative will not have broad impact.

Green Dot

#50 Voices Heard

Proposes many formal mechanisms to create and renew relationships between alumni from underrepresented minority groups and the Office of Development and Alumni Relations. 

This ambitious and well-considered initiative has the potential to powerfully advance the aims of Goal #1.

Green Dot

#51 Wescoe School Mentoring Program

Creates a mentoring program in which Wescoe School students and alumni who are representatives of traditionally underrepresented groups serve as life and career mentors for day students affiliated with Multicultural Life. 

Clearly advances the aims of Goal #1, creating a bridge for the first time between these two campus communities.

Yellow Dot

#12 Early Decision Housing Policy

Asks that the current practice of housing for Early Decision applicants be reviewed in order to ensure that underrepresented students (often not Early Decision applicants) aren’t indirectly housed in a single residence hall. 

The subcommittee felt that this was worth investigating, at the very least, but the initiative incorrectly assumes that Early Decision acceptances time housing availability, when in fact the timing of deposits does.

Yellow Dot

#16 Faculty Diversity and Safe Space Training

Proposes that all faculty and staff be required to complete one-time diversity and safe space training. 

We were confused by the focus - LGBTQIA is mentioned once, trans* and gender non-conforming multiple times; it’s unclear what the ‘training’ will be and how it will be implemented or assessed; others on the subcommittee felt that this training was necessary; regardless, a core set of goals needs to be established, and the efficacy of such training needs to be established, before proceeding.

Yellow Dot

#19/#47 Fitness & Wellness Diversity Presentation; Revisiting the Diversity Play

These initiatives propose a formal follow-up conversation for first-year students after seeing the Sedehi Diversity Project performance. 

Neither of these initiatives are specific about the learning goals that such a follow-up conversation would include, nor who would do the work, and how such work would be assessed; however, we agree that the idea is valuable, has been much discussed in the last several years, and might find footing as a part of other initiatives, such as those sponsored by the Faculty Center for Teaching (FCT).

Yellow Dot

#30 HYPE

Strengthens and expands the existing HYPE program, in which community youth interact with Muhlenberg students, staff, and faculty (as mentors and co-researchers) and learn to compose and produce digital narratives. 

This initiative is consistent with the aims of Goal #1 but impacts a relatively small number of Muhlenberg community members given its cost.

Yellow Dot

#31 I AM Muhlenberg

Proposes to “combine art, history, information literacy, and social justice to educate the campus community on issues of diversity and social equity.” 

We had several concerns: signs create a ‘passive’ learning environment with challenges in assessing the breadth of impact; what would be the learning goals? Who would participate? Who will do the work? What will be displayed?

Yellow Dot

#37 LGBT Center

Creates an LGBT Center to serve as a unified resource and physical hub for LGBT life on campus. 

This initiative needs to emerge out of a meaningful partnership with Multicultural Life; more research is needed in terms of short- and long-term cost, as well as a stronger rationale that speaks to inclusion.

Yellow Dot

#42 Name Changes on IDs and Email/Blackboard for Trans/Gender Variant Students

Proposes that trans* and gender non-conforming students be allowed to change their names on their IDs in order to not ‘out’ trans* and gender non-conforming students. 

The initiative identifies potential inequities, but the initiative proposal was too brief to understand exactly what was being proposed or how the current system acts unfairly.

Red Dot

#4 Comprehensive Capacity Building Program for Students and Employees

Proposes to design and implement a capacity-building program for students and employees to engage and lead campus dialogues about diversity. 

This initiative is too broad and lacks specificity; some of the activities proposed are best captured by other, stronger initiative proposals.  It also makes a relatively small impact on a small number of students and employees, given its cost.

Red Dot

#8 Diversity Appreciation Requirement

Proposes a new ‘diversity appreciation’ requirement for students that mandates attendance at diversity-themed lectures on ‘certain cultures’ and/or ‘diversity-themed’ trips to Allentown. 

This initiative is disconnected from the existing Human Diversity Global Engagement (HDGE) requirement, which is not about ‘appreciation,’ has unclear learning goals, and lacks curricular oversight and specificity.  It is also disconnected from the best practices in diversity education and pedagogy.

Red Dot

#13 Enhancing Career Success

Proposes two new initiatives to help students from ‘underrepresented groups...particularly those from a lower socioeconomic background’: (a) four $1500 stipends for those students participating in unpaid or low paying internships; and (b) $5000 to start a ‘Career Closet’ in order to allow students to borrow ‘interview appropriate clothing.’ 

Although this is a laudable idea to provide stipends for unpaid internships, it is unclear how financial need will be assessed or what constitutes a ‘lower socioeconomic background’ in the execution of this initiative.  The cost is large, considering its impact on just four students, and it is unclear how this initiative fosters inclusion and social equality in the broadest sense.  Additionally, the proposal of the ‘Career Closet,’ though well-intentioned, may in fact perpetuate the very social inequality it believes it can rectify.

Red Dot

#20 Full-time Personnel to Assist Multicultural Life

Creates a new position in Multicultural Life, that of a full-time Assistant Director or Presidential Assistant. 

This initiative lacks specificity and a clear rationale related to the aims of Goal #1.

Red Dot

#28 Global Signage on Campus

Proposes the creation of multilingual signage on campus in order to create a more globally hospitable and cosmopolitan campus. 

Although this initiative is consistent with the aims of Goal #1, and is clever and playful in suggesting ways of connecting Muhlenberg to the larger world, it does little to mitigate any real structural impediment to campus inclusion and is unclear about the impact it hopes to achieve.

Red Dot

#33 Individual Support Signs

Proposes to create a ‘small sign that faculty and staff members can hang in their office...that indicates support for individuals from diverse backgrounds.’ 

This initiative’s understanding of ‘support’ is not consistent with our understanding of best practice in fostering inclusivity and social justice.  It is unclear what the signs would specifically indicate.  If it’s by self-selection, how would participants be held to the same standard?  What is a ‘visual reminder’ of ‘our goal to be supportive’?  This initiative speaks from a majoritarian, rather than inclusive, perspective.

Red Dot

#34 Informational Posters

Asks for informational posters about diversity to be displayed in the Light Lounge. 

This initiative has an unclear relationship to the aims of creating a more inclusive community and lacks specificity.

Red Dot

#36 Job Descriptions

Creates a new requirement for all College job postings to include language that reflects an expectation that all employees ‘actively foster inclusion, justice, and social equity in their work’. 

This initiative lacks specific goals and rationale.  It is unclear to what ‘diversity inclusion work’ standard job applicants (and existing employees) will be held.  How will this be made into specific goals and expectations when job candidates ask what constitutes ‘fostering inclusion, justice, and social equity in work?’  How will employees self-assess this?

Red Dot

#40 Muhlenberg Ultimate Leadership Experience

Creates a new ‘structured development program’ with a required residential component as well as weekly group meetings for 30-35 first-year students to learn about leadership.

This initiative relies solely on a small number of students in a pilot group for impact and has an unclear relationship between ‘leadership’ and the aims of cultivating an inclusive campus community.  It is not explicitly related to the aims of diversity as articulated in the Diversity Statement and enshrines a single authoritative text as a stand-alone, ‘biblical’ authority on leadership (and implicitly, diversity and inclusion).

Red Dot

#53 Year-End Celebration

Proposes a new all day/all night party for the campus community to rest and relax together. 

This initiative has an unclear relationship to the aims of creating a more inclusive community and does little to change or mitigate existing obstacles to inclusion, given its cost.

Red Dot

#54 Year-End Award 

This initiative proposes to set aside funds for a monetary award each year for a person or group whose actions or programs have been deemed by a committee to have promoted and supported a climate of diversity at the College.  The recipient(s) of the award would then name a local community organization to receive the money in the recipient’s and the College’s name. 

This initiative has little impact given the cost

 

This subcommittee did not evaluate the following initiatives because they seem more closely aligned with other goals:

  • #5 Comprehensive Review of All Existing Policies and Practices
  • #6 Concert for the Schools
  • #32 Inclusive Pedagogy Programming Series
  • #39 Meeting Points Series
  • #44 Posse Foundation Bridge & Scholarship Program
  • #49 Transnational and Global Subjects