February 22, 2017 CDI Meeting Summary

President’s Commission on Diversity & Inclusion

Meeting Summary
February 22, 2017

1. Agenda

View meeting agenda here.

2. Members Present

Shannon Archibeque-Engle, Becki Atadero, Albert Bimper, Anita Bundy, Dan Bush, Melissa Burt, Josh Casto, Oscar Felix, Maria Fernandez-Gimenez, Vanessa Hayward, Mike Jaramillo, Gilbert John, Bridgette Johnson, Linda Krier, Kelly Long, Teresa McClure, Arlene Nededog, Mary Ontiveros, Lisa Pappas, Diana Prieto, Carmen Rivera, Jimena Sagas, Jennifer Schneider, Malcolm Scott, Herman Shelton, Kathy Sisneros, Megan Skeehan, Leslie Taylor, Joe Tiner, Ria Vigil, Cori Wong.


Tracy Kile Schwartz for Alexis Kanda-Olmsted.

Erin Hammersley attended to help give an update on the transgender committee.

3. Diversity Plan Update

This group has met once and will schedule future meetings to accomplish their goals. They would like to create a rubric of initiatives already in place (using Texas A & M as a possible model).  They are currently in the research stage. Additional members to this committee are Arlene Nededog and Melissa Burt.

Questions/Discussions followed focusing on the following areas:

  • How do divisions that focus on diversity, equity and inclusion fit into the Diversity Section #8 in the university strategic plan?
  • Who is supposed to work with divisions regarding their diversity plans? (This group plans to visit all divisions with examples and ideas to help them).
  • How can people make change happen?
  • How do we hold them accountable?

4. Subcommittee Reports

Holiday Committee Update:

This group is changing the direction and the name of the subcommittee.
The new goal is to educate the campus community throughout the year about what events are happening every month. What resources already exist on campus that they can use —  such as the University calendar. Their goal is to use this resource and put a master calendar on the Diversity website that will roll out in the fall.  They will also utilize the SDPS offices.

Transgender Committee Update:

Vanessa Hayward and Erin Hammersley, co-chairs of this committee, provided a handout to the Commission. (Link to handout) The goal of this committee is how to support students who identify as transgender.

Some issues/challenges they have faced include:

  • Understanding the logic behind labels and names and what words to use and why.
  • Name, pronoun, gender identity are all individual.
  • Preferred vs. legal names — Need to determine where legal names must be used and where preferred names can be used. The registrar’s office is currently gathering information regarding legal names. Employee application does not have preferred name vs. legal name yet. They are working to change that. The group is working with Josh Zugish regarding legal counsel.
  • Treating students consistently with regard to their gender identity. This is a large campus and it will take time to educate members.
  • Admissions application changes will take place for the 2018 cycle. There will be a list of genders and sexual orientations to choose from.

Student Behavior / Campus Communications Committee:

A subcommittee was created in response to Dwight Burke’s presentation at the January 25, 2017 CDI Meeting. (link to presentation)

While there is a process in place that has been working for years, it is not 100% foolproof. Each instance is handled on an individualized basis depending on what has happened.

Operating Guidelines Subcommittee:

Martin Carcasson, Professor in Communication Studies, and Director of Center for Public Deliberation, handed out survey at last meeting and was going to go over the results at today’s meeting. However, he was under the weather and not present.

The CDI asked the questions — how do we determine tenure on this committee and what do we do with members who do not show up consistently? Mary asked for 2 volunteers to help with VPD staff in making decisions:  Josh Casto and Melissa Burt responded.

5. Misc./Announcements:

  • CDI Budget: The Commission has been given a budget by the President’s office for items such as: meetings over lunch (beginning next fall); meeting room rental: Professional Development.
  • A form was handed out to those interested in opportunities such as SJLI which is $250.
  • NCORE is in Fort Worth, Texas this June.
  • Intergroup dialogue is being developed that would bring a speaker to campus. Forms must be returned by March 24 for consideration.