Spring 2017 Campus Climate Conversations

Diversity Advisory Council (DAC) members and Bias and Hate Education and Response Team (BHERT) members, in collaboration with additional staff and faculty colleagues, have outlined a series of conversations. These campus climate conversations are aimed at addressing some of the challenging issues of the day, and providing education and awareness about some of the processes and resources available for our continued development as an inclusive and equitable campus.

 
What is the Bias-Hate Education Response Team (BHERT) and what role does BHERT play at Puget Sound?

Wednesday, Feb. 15, noon–1 p.m., Murray Boardroom

What is the Bias-Hate Education Response Team (BHERT)? Who serves on BHERT? What exactly is BHERT’s role on campus? Where can campus members report incidents of bias? Why report? What is the difference between bias and hate? What do incident reports tell us about bias on campus? This conversation aims to heighten awareness about BHERT and invites attendees into an open conversation about bias and hate on campus and what Puget Sound might do going forward. Dean of Diversity and Inclusion Michael Benitez and Assistant Professor of Global Environmental Politics Rachel DeMotts.

 

Freedom of Speech: Rights and Limitations

Tuesday, Feb. 28, 4–5 p.m., Murray Boardroom

What is freedom of speech and what does freedom of speech look like in practice? What are some implications for freedom of speech in public vs. private contexts? Can we have freedom of speech while also understanding the lived realities of hurtful expression on our campus? And, what by way of free speech might constitute harm and how do we know? This conversation addresses freedom of speech in a liberal arts college setting. Alumna and Attorney at Law Sarah Lee ’94, Assistant Professor of Philosophy Sam Liao, and Associate Professor of Politics and Government Alisa Kessel.

 

Identities, Social Issues, and the Call for a Mutual Endeavor

Wednesday, March 8, noon–1 p.m., Murray Boardroom

What are some of the pressing and challenging issues in society today, and by extension, in local spaces such as our campus community? Who is impacted and in what ways? How do we understand our identities and subjective experiences in ways that might help us cultivate spaces of courage for such conversations? This session offers a space for conversation about how we might address both -isms and phobias that negatively impact marginalized voices and how privileged identities might examine their own bias without fear. Professor of Education Amy Ryken, Humanities Librarian Katy Curtis, and Professor of African American Studies Grace Livingston.

 

Civility and Respect

Tuesday, March, 21, 4–5 p.m., Murray Boardroom

Following up on the conversation on freedom of speech, this conversation creates a space for campus members to learn about communication styles related to civility and respect. Now more than ever it is incumbent upon campus members to foster civil and respectful dialogue to engage difficult conversations. Professor of Communication Studies and Academic Vice President Kris Bartanen will lead a discussion on argument skill vs. verbal aggression, and Director of Human Resources Janice Jackson-Haley will offer different frameworks on conversation strategies that support and promote civility and respect.

 

Connections Between National and Local Social Climate

Wednesday, April 5, noon–1 p.m., Murray Boardroom

In what ways do some of the social issues and events taking place nationally impact campus members? How are issues and events we observe in society reflective or not of our campus community? And, how do we encourage free expression of diverse perspectives while also accounting for the challenges campus members face as a result of the current political climate? This session makes connections between, and invites campus members to have conversation about, national social climate issues and campus climate data. Director of Intercultural Engagement Vivie Nguyen, Assistant Director for Assessment Alanna Johnson, and Professor of Education Amy Ryken.

 

What is BHERT and what role does BHERT play at Puget Sound? (reprise)

Tuesday, April 18, 4–5 p.m., Murray Boardroom

What is the Bias-Hate Education Response Team (BHERT)? Who serves on BHERT? What exactly is BHERT’s role on campus? Where can campus members report incidents of bias? Why report? What is the difference between bias and hate? What do incident reports tell us about bias on campus? This conversation aims to heighten awareness about BHERT and invites attendees into an open conversation about bias and hate on campus and what Puget Sound might do going forward. University Chaplain and Director for Spiritual Life and Civic Engagement Dave Wright ’96 and Professor of Education Amy Ryken.

 

Sexual Misconduct at Puget Sound: What Campus Climate Data Tells Us

Wednesday, April 26, noon–1 p.m., Murray Boardroom

Sexual misconduct on college campuses is an important and necessary issue to address, and requires all campus members to do their part in contributing to help prevent it. What does Puget Sound’s campus climate survey say about sexual misconduct on our campus? This session provides some data on students’ experiences with sexual assault or misconduct, students’ perceptions and understandings related to sexual assault culture on campus, and information about sexual assault and misconduct resources. Associate Dean of Students Marta Cady, Associate Professor of Politics and Government Alisa Kessel, and Associate Professor of History Poppy Fry.

 

To learn more about these conversations you can contact Dean Benitez at chiefdiversity@pugetsound.edu or at x3929.

For progress on diversity-related efforts made during the 2016 calendar year, please review the Annual Diversity Report. Additional information is available at pugetsound.edu/diversity.