CSBS Advising EQUITY, DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION INITIATIVES
As the advising team of the CSBS Student Success Center, we have committed to being educators, problem solvers, and advocates for the students we serve as they navigate through college and reach for their goals. However, we cannot truly do this for all students if we are not also advocating for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous People of Color) lives.
Although we are student-focused in all that we do, we have not done enough to support our Black students and all students of color as they face racism in every aspect of their lives. We acknowledge that we need to challenge ourselves, our students, or the programs we serve to develop and grow in anti-racism work.
We are committed to aligning our work with that of countless anti-racist leaders across our nation and throughout time. We recognize the all too common disparities and injustices that exist within academia, and more specifically the focus areas of our college. Environmental racism disproportionally harms BIPOC. Voter suppression remains a prevalent threat for Black Americans. Modern medicine and healthcare practices would not exist without the exploitation of Black bodies, like the Tuskeegee Syphilis Experiment. Black men are nearly three times more likely to be murdered by police officers than their white counterparts. The history of Anthropology as a field of study was founded on white supremacy and many of its leading minds were notoriously anti-black. Economic policies like redlining prohibited the accumulation of intergenerational wealth within Black communities. The highest rates of infant mortality are found within communities of color.
Again, it is no secret that the institution of academia has and continues to perpetuate racial injustice. As advocates for student success we cannot remain oblivious to our history. As a predominantly white advising team, we have a responsibility to take action and analyze our biases, our interpersonal interactions with students, institutional barriers for students, as well as our advisor hiring and training practices.
The CSBS Student Success Center does not support acts of intolerance against one’s race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and expression, ability, socioeconomic status, veteran status, size, national origin, language, religion or any other real or perceived differences based on an individual’s identity. Our Center has established an Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Committee, and is taking action in the following ways:
- Ensuring advisor and student representation and involvement in our CSBS Student Success Center’s Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Committee
- Developing ongoing, mandatory diversity and anti-racism training for all CSBS advisors
- This training will center around voices of people of color and of multiple identities for the work that they have already been doing regarding anti-racism
- Training and continued learning in this area will be used for annual performance evaluations of advisors
- Compiling and approving funds for professional development resources for our advisors on campus, in professional organizations, and virtually. These funds will be used to continue and promote the work of anti-racism and diversity learning and growth
- Coaching students on their rights and university policies related to campus protests
- Sharing information with students on how to get support and/or get involved
- Collaborating with HR to examine our hiring procedures and practices to ensure diversification of our team moving forward
- Developing a reporting process for complaints about advisors related to diversity
- Assess the accessibility of the CSBS Student Success Center’s space; specifically what can be done to improve student access and feelings of safety and inclusion
By taking these action steps, we hope to grow and change personally and professionally, to help break down barriers, to support students of all underserved identities, and to show students how to be accomplices to the Black community and other identities in their own lives, workspaces, and at the University of Utah.