Southeast MO State diversity task force turns in findings - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Southeast MO State diversity task force turns in findings

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

As students start the spring semester, university leaders will start reviewing the Southeast Diversity Task Force findings.

The groups goal is to make all students from all backgrounds feel respected and included.

"It was eye opening to see some of the actual stats in the final recommendation in the report," junior Kevin Windham said.

Windham was a part of the Diversity Task Force, along with the university's dean of students, Debbie Below.

"We spent most of the last fall semester reaching out to constituencies across campus to make sure we heard as many voices as possible," Below said.

"What transpired as a result of this is a conversation of what felt like dozens and dozens of students," she said. "If not more than a hundred students over the course of the last year that resulted in the nine recommendations in this report."

Here's what the group wants.

  • To honor history
    • Highlighting the traditions and achievements of minority students 
  • Hold everyone accountable
    • Creating a committee that promotes awareness, equity and inclusion.
  • Train Staff
    • They found over the years the minority student body has grown, while the amount of minority staff has stayed the same.

"Without an environment that's supportive of all students including the majority student population," Below said. "So that everyone is learning from one another, that was our hope."

Windham said he agrees with Below and said he's glad his university is taking the right steps moving forward.

"Going just beyond the numbers their efforts just before some of the incidents at universities around the state or around the country," he said. "We've been working on this."

The group plans to hold two open forums for students and people in the community to provide feedback on Jan 27 from noon to 1:30 p.m.and from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

To read the full report, you can click here.

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