Administration forum offers insight into campus climate
The Santa Clara
March 1, 2018
Zerreen Kazi is no stranger to responding to acts of vandalism on campus. At the recent Forum for Diversity and Inclusion, Kazi—the Director of the Multicultural Center (MCC)—challenged administrators by asking what they would say to those who committed acts of vandalism on campus.
“We do not live in a bubble, we are a part of the United States,” University President Michael Engh, S.J. said.“Race and issues of bias are rampant across the country and we do our best to address that here.”
Questions from the audience and updates from administrators were fielded at the forum on Monday night in the de Saisset Museum. The event was hosted by the university and Unity 4.
Engh went on to say that these acts of vandalism are inappropriate for the campus community and dubbed the anti-immigration posters put up as “infantile.” He questioned what the perpetrators feared and why they used such cowardly avenues to express their feelings of animosity.
“We are facing a national problem right here on our campus,” Engh said.
Also in response to Kazi’s question, Provost Dennis Jacobs looked to future conversations with people of differing beliefs.
“What we can promote is a spirit of conversation or civil discourse in which we are able to talk and do so in a way that respects the other and truly listens to the other,” Jacobs said.
Survey Response and Timeline
The Campus Climate Survey closed on Tuesday night, but even in the final day, Director for the Office for Diversity and Inclusion Ray Plaza pushed for more participants.
On Monday, the goal of a 30 percent undergraduate response (900 students) had still not been reached.
Plaza explained that in early October 2018, the survey consultants will meet with Engh and his cabinet to review the findings. That same day, two campus-wide forums will be held and the results of the survey will be made formally available.
This process is to ensure transparency and accessibility to the results, according to Plaza.
“I suspect there will be a lot of homework for a number of our different offices,” Plaza said.
Moving Towards Mental Health
Vice Provost for Student Life and Dean of Students Jeanne Rosenberger introduced the JED Campus Initiative that the university began in spring 2017.
JED is a foundation that helps high schools and colleges with strategic planning around mental health initiatives.
Santa Clara is now one of the nine Jesuit campuses participating as a JED campus, joined by 170 other colleges and universities across the country.
One improvement highlighted after the university embarked on the JED Campus Initiative was the funding for a campus psychiatrist, which Santa Clara did not have prior.
Students expressed interest in resources outside of existing counselors at Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), and the university answered.
Eva Blanco Masias, dean of undergraduate admission, reported that the university received a record high of about 16,000 applications for the class of 2022.
That is about 1,100 more applications received than the year before, according to Vice President for Enrollment Management Mike Sexton.
However, this year admissions is planning on enrolling about three dozen fewer students than usual, as the class of 2021 was oversubscribed by about two dozen students, according to Sexton.
“This is really not a good year to be a high school senior,” Sexton said. “Next year, when we have Finn Hall, is a better time to be a high school senior.”
Undergraduate enrollment is expected to grow from about 5,450 to 6,000 in the next six years, warranting more beds and classrooms, according to Sexton.
Sexual Assault Movie Reboot
One student asked how “Can’t Thread a Moving Needle” is evaluated and how it may potentially be updated.
“Can’t Thread a Moving Needle” is the mandatory film dealing with topics of sexual assault and violence that all students are required to watch during their first year at Santa Clara.
Associate Dean for Student Life Matthew Duncan answered that the movie was made ten years ago and administrators predicted it would have a limited shelf life.
He said the Office of Student Life is working with Associated Student Government, the Wellness Center and Residence Life to create new solutions to the outdated movie.
“Can’t Thread a Moving Needle” will not be included in mandatory programming in the same capacity it was before. Beginning in fall 2018, only certain aspects of the movie will be used, according to Duncan.
The spring quarter forum will be held on Tuesday, May 8.
Contact Meghan McLaughlin at email@example.com or call (408) 554-4852.