MCCL Annual Report 2010-2011

Committee Membership

  • Students: Kana Ariyoshi (’13); Chi Chen, Spring 10 (’13); Hilary Pollan, Spring 11 (’12)
  • Staff: Catarina Costa-Wofford (Admissions); Winnie Rivera-Vallejo (Sr. Administrative Assistant, Dean of College's Office)
  • Faculty: Roger Babb, Co-Chair (Theatre); Renae Brodie (Biology); Mark Lauer (German); Sarah Oelker (Science Librarian)
  • Administrators: Rene Davis (Dean of Students); Penny Gill (Dean of the College); Gladys Moore, Co-Chair (Dean of Religious and Spiritual Life & Director of Diversity and Inclusion)

What We Are

A group of faculty, students, staff and administrators who report to the Dean of the College on issues of diversity, inclusion and the climate of campus life.

What We Do

We meet every two weeks for two hours.

We arrange to have people speak to us from multiple perspectives about what’s going on on campus. For example, among others, we spoke with Donna Van Handle about the needs and concerns of international students. We invited Carol Stewart, Ombudsperson to speak about trends and areas of interest to MCCL. We met with President Pasquerella to discuss our work and how we might be helpful to her.

This year we focused on a number of areas.

I. Disabilities and Ableism

We sponsored speakers and workshops to help educate the campus about disabilities (and non-apparent disabilities). We have been talking with Elizabeth Hogan and Disability Services about creating campus wide awareness of these issues. We supported students who seek to include disabilities and ableism under the diversity umbrella as issues of both access and social justice. We invited Emma Fialka-Feldman, a graduating senior who is very active with these issues, to speak about student organizing around these topics.

II. Assessment

We feel the need for a campus-wide assessment of the current climate related to diversity.

The Student Conference Committee survey data on students’ perceptions of inclusive campus climate related to racial and ethnic identity, political affiliation and socio-economic status has been useful as have been Orientation and pre-Orientation surveys. Members of the committee have met with Allison Donta-Venman from Institutional Research to examine data and try to determine trends over time. One helpful suggestion has been to have individual departments access data and generate their own questions, such as the racial composition of Senior Majors etc. MCCL would like to encourage this type of self evaluation within departments and help distribute the information gathered. We also encourage the discussion of issues of diversity and inclusion at department meetings and are working on ways in which to support such activities.

III. Inclusiveness Initiative Fund

We spend a good deal of our time administering IIF which provides monies for projects that support diversity and dialogue about inclusiveness on and off the campus.

  • Sustainable Agriculture and Social Justice
  • Samira Sayeh Lecture: "Islam, Tradition and the Republic Lifting the Veil on a Political Controversy"
  • A Night of Bulgarian Music
  • Living in Marked Bodies": Eli Clare (Living with Disabilities)
  • UMMA Eid a-Adha Celebration
  • Aya Ogawa, Japanese Playwright: Artist's Talk and 3 Day Writing Residency
  • Thomas Bradshaw, African American Playwright: Reading/Talk Workshop and Concert of Syriac Liturgical Msuic from theMiddle East
  • Asian Refugee Week
  • Live Feed From the Black Unconscious at Mount Holyoke College
  • Black Solidarity Conference at Yale
  • The Art of Building Inclusive Community
  • Dining Services Appreciation Week

One of the benefits of being on this committee is that it puts members in touch with staff, students, faculty and administrators every other week to discuss the progress we are making in becoming a more diverse and inclusive community as well as discussing the challenges and opportunities for doing so.. We respond to events and contingencies but we also initiate projects and possible solutions. Committee members develop projects within their own departments and workplaces that have been sparked in part by visiting speakers or discussion within the committee. MCCL wants to disseminate techniques and methodologies that are successful and useful in encouraging and supporting inclusiveness.

Plans for 2011-2012

MCCL often reflects on ways to do our work more efficiently and effectively.  We will continue to encourage, seed and support initiatives that recognize both the particularity and complexity of identity.  However, we have also noted the need for more collaboration between various campus constituencies in order to build capacity for diversity-related work.  Thus, one of our goals is to fund through IIF a facilitator who will work with student cultural organizations to assist them in working cooperatively.  In addition the committee will further its work with the Director of Diversity and Inclusion in developing specific and measurable campus-wide diversity objectives to enhance the college’s strategic plan.  As we seek to develop a campus climate that is welcoming and inclusive, we will intentionally seek to promote ways of becoming a more family-friendly campus. The MCCL Committee looks forward to continuing our work with and among faculty, staff and students to help foster a community that strives for inclusive excellence in all facets of our campus life.

Respectfully submitted,

Roger Babb
Co-Chair, MCCL