Photo courtesy of Xavier University | Xavier’s climate is in line with the national average, but students and faculty say there’s room for improvement.
It’s been nearly one year since the Climate Survey came out detailing how Xavier students, faculty and staff feel about their comfort levels on campus. The results of the survey revealed that Xavier’s climate is in line with the national average. However, according to students and staff, there is still room for improvement.
Of all of the demographics, Black/African American students feel the least comfortable. According to the survey, 18 percent of Black respondents felt uncomfortable on campus as opposed to seven percent of White respondents. Moreover, 49 percent of Black/African American respondents reported feeling comfortable on campus, in comparison to 51 percent of White respondents and 61 percent of other students of color.
“We take the campus climate and how comfortable students are in spaces on campus, including classrooms, cafeteria, dorms and the library,” Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Dr. Janice Walker explained.
“We have a new Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan whose first goal is ‘Create and maintain a welcoming, inclusive and equitable campus climate characterized by support and respect for all members of the university community.’
“The Plan has strategies that target groups from incoming first-year students to faculty and staff. Some have been in progress since last spring, and others are just underway.”
The top four recommendations offered were to integrate diversity and inclusion in Manresa, GOA, first-year seminar, the core and across majors, identify best practices for recruitment and retention of underrepresented groups, staff and faculty, provide leadership training for supervisors and diversity training for all employees as well as gender equality in pay and promotion for employees. All of the top four recommendations are underway or in progress.
“I think there is effort being made, but I don’t know if there has been…talking to African American students to actually get our perspective, the student point of view,” Ese Obrimah, a senior marketing major said. “It’s been very much a top-bottom effort, rather than a bottom-up effort, which it should have been.”
It has only been one year since the survey, and most of the improvements have yet to be fully implemented, nevertheless a majority of these improvements are in progress.
By: Savin Matozzi ~Copy Editor~