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Fostering Community at Sacramento State University Convocation: February 21, 2011 Summary & Recommendations University Convocation Organizing Committee.

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Presentation on theme: "Fostering Community at Sacramento State University Convocation: February 21, 2011 Summary & Recommendations University Convocation Organizing Committee."— Presentation transcript:

1 Fostering Community at Sacramento State University Convocation: February 21, 2011 Summary & Recommendations University Convocation Organizing Committee

2 BACKGROUND Faculty Senate Executive Committee meets with President Gonzalez. National and local events: bullying and suicide of Rutgers student; shooting in Tucson; Placerville Elementary School shooting; campus incidents. President responds, calls for campus-wide convocation.

3 CONVOCATION COMMITTEE Carole Hayashino, VP, University Advancement Vanessa Sheared, Dean, College of Education Don Taylor, Asst. VP, Academic Planning Kimo Ah Yun, Prof, Comm. Studies Margarita Berta-Avila, Prof, Education Tim Fong, Prof, Ethnic Studies Janet Hecsh, Prof, Education Greg Mark, Prof, Ethnic Studies Steve Perez, Prof, Economics

4 PROGRAM FORMAT “ Fostering Community at Sacramento State” President: Welcome & Introduction Keynote: Helen Zia, Journalist & Scholar Discussion Groups (8 breakouts): Provide participants opportunity to share experiences Gather data & suggestions to develop stronger campus community Closing Session & Reception

5 DISCUSSION QUESTION 1 Who you are and how you describe yourself is important in how you see the world and how others see you. Please take a moment to introduce yourself. Provide your name and at least two ways to describe yourself. For example, “My name is “X” and I belong to (identify a racial or ethnic group, gender, or sexual orientation). I am a(n) (administrator, administrative assistant, faculty, student, mother, sister, etc.).

6 DISCUSSION QUESTION 2 Many different experiences can make a person feel disconnected from their university community. For example, a student may feel that their voice is marginalized in class, a staff member may feel bullied by someone in their office, or a faculty member might experience harassment by a colleague. Regardless of your place in the university, there are many ways that someone else may do something to make you feel uncomfortable. In a general way, please share an experience, where a situation, an individual or individuals, an event, or a group you have joined have made you feel unwelcome, devalued, or unappreciated. Or, share an experience or situation that made you feel welcomed and a valued member of the Sac State Community.

7 DISCUSSION QUESTION 3 What do you believe is the role of public universities, such as Sacramento State, to build a community of students and scholars that recognizes and fosters community by embracing all types of diversity? Develop an action item that is either curricular, programmatic, or policy-related that might aid our campus in building community by helping others to understand and appreciate diversity.

8 RECOMMENDATIONS 1.Hold future events, such as convocations, campus-wide lectureships, and annual days of service, centered on a single theme. In May, the President could announce the topic for the coming year. T-shirts would be provided (at some point) and specific dates would be deemed “T-shirt days” on campus. All campus community members would be encouraged to wear their shirts on these select days. In the fall and spring, faculty could find ways to integrate the topic into their curriculum. A university-wide research competition could be held for students to conduct research of their choosing on the selected theme. Near the end of fall, a convocation could be held on the selected topic. In the spring, the university would engage in small session dialogues on the selected topics. In May, the President could sponsor a picnic where the students in the university-wide curriculum present their research in poster sessions and students, staff, faculty, and students could gather to view the student research.

9 RECOMMENDATIONS 2.Promote “conduct protocols” on campus. There was some concern by students, staff, and faculty that conduct protocols receive insufficient attention. To build a sense of community on campus, it was recognized that all campus community members must first be respectful to one another. There is a need to embrace civil behavior and that it is incumbent on the entire campus community to engage in discourse in a civil manner and to identify uncivil behavior when it is present.

10 RECOMMENDATIONS 3.Engage the university at the curriculum level. Any meaningful, deliberate, and intentional changes would best be accomplished through purposeful curriculum attentiveness. Use of current structures such as first-year seminars, student orientation, and the One Book program could be powerful resources.

11 RECOMMENDATIONS 4.Engage university faculty and staff. If students are best reached through the curriculum, then faculty and staff can be reached through ongoing training sessions. New Faculty Orientation and HR training are places to engage faculty.

12 RECOMMENDATIONS 5.Continue campus dialogue. Failure to follow up on discussions and actions around the convocation will signal that the convocation was a “one shot” event. At Sacramento State, terms and phrases, such as, “Community” and “Leadership begins here” are commonly used. What is not necessarily known is what these phrases mean to various units.

13 PARTING THOUGHTS 1.Include staff and student representatives on the Convocation Organizing Committee. 2.Select a Convocation date far enough in advance to maximize student attendance. 3.Inform faculty of the importance of the convocation so they will encourage student attendance. Many students either arrived late or left early because their instructors were not as supportive of students attending the Convocation as hoped by the Organizing Committee. 4.Attendance by Cabinet members and administrators was appreciated and their participation in future convocations should be encouraged. 5.Keep the current committee (with the addition of staff and student representation) for the next Convocation. The Organizing Committee works well together and looks forward to being active participants with the next Convocation. As part of keeping the group intact, it is also recommended that the Advancement Office continue to serve as the organizing arm of these efforts.

14 CONCLUSION “ I was able to attend four of the breakout sessions, and the honest, constructive dialogue I heard will be very helpful as we work to build a greater community at our university. It was very inspiring to see that this goal of building a greater community is one that we are interested in pursuing collectively.” President Alexander Gonzalez “It is ironic that efforts to find ways to build community, served to build community. The Sacramento State family grew closer and the excitement was piqued in the days following the Convocation and the anticipation of wanting more still remains.” 2011 Convocation Organizing Committee

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