History of the Multicultural Community and College Life Committee

Origins

Archives has a folder of documents from the Ad Hoc Committee on the Multi-Racial Community (1968-1978), but no one is sure if the committee was always ad hoc or when it became an elected committee. One document says it was approved by faculty in 1968 and became a faculty committee then, but all other documents refer to it as an “ad hoc committee.” Also, there is no reference to when the committee came into existence. 

Early History

December 14, 1968: first mention of activity is when Dean Meribeth Cameron requested that committee meet to discuss the Afro-American Society’s request for a Black Cultural Center.

January 10, 1969: Meeting to discuss setting up of a summer program for disadvantaged students.  This resulted in the founding of the ABC (“A Better Chance”) Program housed in the Sycamores.

February 1973: Ad Hoc Committee sent memo to faculty asking them to adopt a resolution about inclusion. 

Memo included a summary of what the committee had accomplished by 1973:

  • participated in establishment of “minority summer programs”
  • participated in founding of Black Studies Program and Black Culture Center
  • expanded function of the “ombudsman” to include review needs and hear grievances of campus groups 
  • met with So. Hadley police and So. Hadley “Human Relations Task Force”

Committee started to plan workshops on racism in 1974 and brought in consultant (Don Polk, “Human Relations Consultant”) in 1976 to plan and lead workshops and develop questionnaires on “race relations” to distribute to the community. 

1990s

1998

The ad hoc committee became an elected committee called “Committee on the Multiracial Community.”  The CMC was committed to achieving an anti-bias community and will concentrate its efforts in the following areas:

  1. Assessment of the climate of the community via surveys of faculty and staff.
  2. Training and development – anti-bias training for its membership and all faculty, staff, students.
  3. Collaboration – promote dialogue across differences as a “literacy” issue.  
  4. Visibility – committee should become recognizable presence and visible in the MHC community by sponsoring open forums and regularly report on its progress in printed weekly calendar called The College Street Journal.  Rochelle Calhoun was named “Director of Diversity and Inclusion” at this time.

1999

Information from Faculty Meeting Minutes

February
Topic of the Day: The Faculty Conference Committee (FCC) led a discussion based on its report on restructuring committees.  Recommendation made that the “Affirmative Action Committee” and the “Committee on a Multiracial Community” be combined and chaired by the “Director of Diversity and Inclusion.”  At the March 1999 faculty meeting it was decided to keep the two committees separate and each would have a faculty chair.

April
FCC proposes combining the “Committee on Campus Life and Advising” and the “Committee on a Multiracial Community” to the “Advisory Committee on Multicultural Community and College Life” (MCCL).

May
Name change was approved by faculty.  The MCCL was charged with providing ongoing anti-bias education throughout the institution and shall determine its agenda by choosing among issues brought to it by students, faculty, and staff.

2000s

2013

In spring of 2013, the MCCL was asked to prepare materials that would be used by the President’s Commission on Diversity and Inclusion. The report on campus climate as perceived by faculty and staff at MHC can be accessed with your MHC username and password:

Campus Climate Inventory Report for Faculty and Staff