Quest 2007: Lunchtime Roundtable Discussions Summary
Combating Human Trafficking
Human Trafficking is a global problem that affects everyone. Two subsidiary problems are poverty & HIV/AIDS. Getting legislation passed that can make prosecuting traffickers easier is paramount to ending the problem. Right now there is little awareness about human trafficking and that needs to change.
Accessibility in the Classroom & Workplace
When working with people who are different, the key is being open-minded & creative.
English as a Second Language
Our discussion on ESL went well. We discussed issues facing ESL students, problems faculty encounter with teaching and working with ESL students and what WSU can do to help ESL students and faculty. We want the Quest committee to know that there needs to be a greater awareness of ESL students on campus. Also, more needs to be done to help both ESL students with their English and help faculty address needs of teaching ESL students. We also agree that ESL students contribute much diversity to the WSU community because they come from different countries and cultures in addition to their diversity as ESL students. We have these suggestions…
To help faculty teach ESL students:
- establish guidelines for faculty in teaching ESL students (how to greet fairly, what is appropriate for modifications to greeting, etc.
- provide literature on how to teach and work with ESL students
- faculty retreats with sessions on ESL Students
- have sessions interacting with students in the classroom.
To help ESL students:
- establish mentoring program to help ESL students learn speaking skills
- tutoring programs for ESL learners
- service-learning classes for ESL students.
- encourage WSU students to help, tutor, work with and accept ESL students.
- look at what other universities in the area are doing to help ESL students.
- Who wants to be like everyone else?
- Variety is the spice of life.
- Privilege to do what you want
- can be elusive
- can be proactive--make a change
- Words are important--discuss
- People wanted to know if other schools were dealing with issues regarding Facebook.
- Schools reported that issues surrounding Facebook have diminished since last year.
- More faculty and staff have joined Facebook with positive interactions with students.
- Faculty and staff need to become more involved with students regarding technology.
LGBT College Students
The table discussion went VERY well. People could get their questions out about LGBT college students. There was a LOT of information shared about changing residential and other areas of campus life. Very effective table.
Regional Unity=Better Communication
- Sometimes our perceptions of other regional communities might not be fully informed or accurate.
- We should capitalize on the strengths of each surrounding community to then strengthen the overall community.
- Sharing resources between communities would benefit the overall social and economic wealth of the community or region.
Students with Children
- We discussed blended families and the difficulties of making them work.
- How can students find time for themselves (to exercise, for example) while going to school, work, raising children?
- Some students feel guilty about disciplining when quality time is precious.
Evaluating Cultural Competencies
- Evaluation based on difference among "subcultures."
- "Evaluate a way to control classroom"
Faculty should enhance respect/discussion to encourage healthy democratic environment among the students.
- Evaluate through "target staff" who directly work cultural difference, the students concern and issues.
We had a great and insightful discussion regarding invisible disabilities. We discussed psychological disorders that plague our local and campus community. One area of concern is our students who are schizophrenic or with chronic depression. Students neglect their medication or just quit taking because the "feel better" but don't realize how their behavior/mood changes affects roommates, classmates, etc.
- We have created a society of fear-losing jobs, security, etc-and in the process have used immigrants as pawns.
- Laws should be applied evenly.
- What if there was no immigration system--what if no countries ("imagine")?
- Immigration comes from people being pushed out of their countries because of poverty, turmoil, etc. and being pulled to a country because of family, jobs, etc.
- Immigrants fill a need-not just low wage-but all levels and is even used to prop up the SS system.
Transforming Student Experiences Through Learning Communities
Learning Communities can be formal, as in WSU's First Year Experience linked courses, or they can be temporary, informal, and fluid. The informal ones can be just as valid, and we have to facilitate both. One of our faculty at our table assigns as homework watching a compelling 12-minute video from a web address. The students thus share a common experience and discuss the video in class.
Service Learning & Civic Engagement
- Civic engagement is the job of every unit within the university, just as diversity is.
- Learning Community seminars are good avenues for cross-disciplinary collaboration.
- SL often/usually puts students in context with underrepresented communities.
- SL can help students think of a larger world than just their own experience.
- SL gives students the opportunity to collaborate on creating a product with diverse others (how they can create something together they could never have individually imagined).
- Something is needed to counteract our cultural gravity that pulls us away from community and isolates us.
- Technology can be an avenue through which students not economically able to travel abroad can be in community with diverse others. (games for change)
Setting Healthy Boundaries with Students
As future childhood educators, we believe it is important to communicate with the parents of students in order to establish what a healthy boundary is. In today's society it is important to separate personal boundaries from legal boundaries. Knowing what triggers and temptations are will help you establish your own boundaries.
Intersections of Race, Gender, and Class
Our lunch time discussion was unique with two students and two faculty/staff members, we were really able to discuss the intersection of race, gender, and class and how they appear in our lives and on campus!
Pop Culture T.V. & Language
We discussed how reality TV and pop culture have affected culture and society and furthermore how these perceptions have affected the expectations we put on ourselves.
Collaborative Issues on Campuses
- Do a campus wide 'big read' project--maybe expand the freshman reading project campus-wide.
- Include Tunnel of Oppression for staff/faculty and expand diversity academic options.
- Compliment the first-year experience with staff/faculty mentors to follow-up with emails or phone contacts.
- Include diversity issues in SOAR sessions especially expectations.
- Include diversity/student activities in HR staff objectives.
- Create a bookmark or walls-and wish the WSU diversity statement on it for all students entering WSU (faculty and staff too!).