Unity 4 Reminder and Update
April 13, 2016
All members of the Santa Clara Community are invited to attend the spring quarter Unity 4 Forum, a campus discussion on diversity, on Wednesday, April 20th from 7:00 – 8:30 pm in the Music Recital Hall.
A group of concerned students founded Unity 4 approximately a year ago after a series of racist social media postings appeared on the anonymous microblogging application– Yik Yak– during spring quarter 2015. Unity 4 is the fourth in a series of movements aimed at changing the Santa Clara campus culture to be more inclusive and supportive of students of color. Unity 4 leaders developed a series of recommendations to enhance academics, student and residence life, transparency, and recruitment. In June 2015, after extensive consultation with Unity 4 leaders and others, President Engh provided a formal response identifying faculty, staff, and administrators who would work with the Unity 4 leaders to take responsibility for pursuing each recommendation. Since that time, students and campus leaders have met regularly to discuss progress and plan for quarterly campus-wide fora.
While other colleges and universities throughout the U.S. are struggling to find ways to address deep concerns about diversity and inclusion on their own campuses, Santa Clara has seen candid dialogue and constructive progress in a number of areas. In February 2016, the Board of Trustees approved stand-alone majors in Ethnic Studies and Women & Gender Studies. In winter quarter 2016, an Inclusive Excellence Student Advisory Council was convened to serve in an advisory role to the Council on Inclusive Excellence. Students are participating in working groups that will assess and review both the Diversity requirement and the Pathway requirement in the University’s Core Curriculum. In addition, Unity 4 leaders and other students are working closely with the Office of Admissions and Enrollment to recruit underrepresented students to the 2016 first-year class.
I am very proud of the partnerships formed among students, faculty, staff, and administrators in advancing the goals identified by Unity 4. And I am proud of the fact that our students will be sharing their work with national audiences at two significant conferences this spring. I am honored to be joining a team of Unity 4 leaders, faculty, and staff in presenting our work at the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity (NCORE) in San Francisco from June 1 – June 4, 2016. Unity 4 leaders will also participate in the American Jesuit Colleges and Universities’ Conference on Diversity and Equity (CDE), "Mission Matters: Moving From Strong Words to Courageous Actions," on our own campus June 19-22, 2016. Members of the SCU community are invited to join colleagues from throughout the country in a dialogue framed around “Mission Matters” during the CDE in June. Please join us on April 20 at 7:00 pm in the Music Recital Hall to hear more about these conferences, about areas of progress in achieving the recommendations of Unity 4, and about the areas for which we have more work to do. We welcome your participation in the important work of creating a truly diverse and inclusive campus at Santa Clara University.