By: Aleesa Kuznetsov and Lisa Milter
Over the past two days, The Annual Diversity forum at the University of Wisconsin Madison was held, with a focus on the campus climate survey results.
The diversity forum held a special panel this year, with members of the Campus Climate Survey Task Force, who presented last weeks results and took questions.
“By no means is this a settled issue for us because there is still a lot of work that has to be done,” says Patrick Sims Vice Provost for Diversity & Climate and Chief Diversity Officer.
The survey showed a disparity between the overall population and minority students.
“That wasn’t something we were terribly surprised by, but it was still something that as worth having that empirical evidence to say ‘okay’ now we know, what are we gonna do about to address this gap,” says Sims.
The survey was open to both undergraduate and graduate students, and Sims says that they exceeded their response rate goal.
“I think it’s a great step,” says, Robin Greenler a UW Staff Member attending the forum, “it also starts to look at things with a little more granularity, a little more fine-tuned, so it’s not just minority students, but which minority students and what is their experience and really to hear directly from students, with different backgrounds, and what are the key things that they need to do.”
This is the first year the University has conducted a survey of this magnitude, providing a baseline of data.
Diversity Division Intern Gabrielle Tielman-Fenelus says that while the forum has mostly faculty and staff in attendance, they are looking for ways to engage students.
“Well its’ an opportunity to learn, it’s a chance to get out and see what the issues are that are affecting the broader campus community but also what’s happening in the world writ large,” says Sims.
Greenler says it’s been very useful so far, and that she appreciates the people being willing to push boundaries in a lot of ways.