A Message from Campus Climate Coalition

The Charger Bulletin

[email protected]

Making Headway

Many on campus may not have heard about the Campus Climate Coalition (CCC). The CCC is an organized group of students whose goal is to address issues with the interaction between students and staff of different backgrounds. While this may not seem like a large issue for the University of New Haven community on the surface, for those it affects it is a big deal.

The CCC began meeting last year to first ask whether or not there was an issue on campus in the first place as a result of a nationwide discussion on the subject. Once it was established that there was an issue, dialogue on how to address the problem began. One of the main issues discovered through debate, is that individuals on campus simply do not understand other cultures, which comes from a lack of education. Some are not even aware they may be affecting another person.

A plan of action the CCC is addressing is the lack of diversity curriculum offered in our course selection, which can affect the overall cohesion of the student body. Some courses are offered by the university, but they are few and hard to find. They are hidden under the “special topics” category, and scattered throughout the different subject listings. More importantly, there are no required courses that attempt to educate students on different cultures they may be exposed to in their future careers. The CCC has already made headway by introducing a new policy in the course syllabus, in addition to being closely involved with a new office that is being built on campus to facilitate the enhancement of cultural knowledge. The CCC will also be hosting an Upstander Walk where students will be able to rally in support of each other in the upcoming months.

Why is this important?

Firstly, it is important to note that this is not the reaction of a group of students who are easily offended. The CCC is not implying that students of UNH need to acclimate themselves, or change how they live to please others. The CCC is merely trying to prevent severe misunderstandings and educate the future generation of America, on what they can expect in their upcoming years in the professional world.

Many of those who graduate the University of New Haven will enter a professional atmosphere and can expect to interact with people from other countries, religions or cultures. For many of us, we want to make an impact on our communities, and make a difference.  The University of New Haven is educating future police officers, firefighters, FBI agents, lawyers, legislatures, businessmen, engineers, therapists, dentists, victim advocates and military personnel. Many of these careers are center stage in the nationwide dispute that Americans are insensitive and behind the times as far as cultural acceptance. It is our duty to ensure that the future of our disciplines are armed with the knowledge of understanding other people’s beliefs. How can one make a difference in our own communities and country if we do not understand the cultures of the people that make them up? How can we affect one culture if we do not understand others?

Why now?

There is a lack of diversity in some of our curriculum. There are issues in the connections between faculty and students, and there is little understanding of culture and inclusion on campus. Allowing these issues to grow can result in bigger problems for our University. We as a community must be proactive rather than reactive. We cannot wait for something to happen first.