Students and faculty have high hopes for campus climate initiatives

By Jen Lassen

Writer

President Bravman’s recent email to students about the necessary ‘next steps’ regarding the recent publication of the Campus Climate Report has made both students and faculty more confident in the proposed changes to be made on campus.

On Sept. 22, Bravman emailed students about the next steps on starting the process of making some of the changes outlined in the Campus Climate Task Force Report. Included in the email were sections about the President’s background with the University climate, the Task Force itself, the challenge the University is facing and the steps needed to move forward.

In his email, Bravman said that “the report has initiated an important campus dialogue, and I write to lay out our plans from here and where I hope they can lead.”

Some of the steps that Bravman outlined included holding discussions with various administrative groups over the course of the year, reflecting on student input through the BSG Committee on Student Engagement, asking the Greek system to hold discussions among members about the report and gathering University feedback through the Bucknell Suggestion Box or [email protected]

These steps are intended to jump-start the process of change at the University.

The task force covers several major areas including student intellectual engagement outside the classroom, student social life (including the role of Greek organizations), student alcohol consumption, social space on campus for non-Greek activities, student diversity and sexual assault.  Because these areas are all important yet complex, it will take time for changes to take place.

“I think it’s important to realize that none of the recommendations that were suggested in the Campus Climate Report are necessarily being enacted right now. These were recommendations that were sent to President Bravman, and whatever changes that may take place will be decided on collectively by Dean Lantz, Provost Smyer and President Bravman, with, of course, feedback from all levels of the University including students,” said BSG president Phil Kim ’12.

“It is half of the responsibility of the student organizations and half of the responsibility of the President and his task force to make students aware of opportunities for involvement with this. Students need to be active and knowledgeable to stay involved with this, and they need to involve themselves in this process if they want a say in the changes taking place,” said Clark Bogle ’12.

Dean of Students, Susan Lantz, a Campus Climate response coordinator, is working with Provost Mick Smyer to gain student insight on the report. They are currently reaching out to student organizations such as BSG, offering to meet with them directly in an effort to hear additional thoughts, questions, concerns and ideas.

“Keeping faculty, staff and students updated throughout this process is very important. I appreciate that President Bravman has continued to communicate so openly with the campus community,” Lantz said.

“[I think Bravman’s e-mail is] simply meant to make sure everyone is on the same page moving forward–to lay out all the cards on the table, so to speak. As he mentions in his email, I would much rather realize our faults and points of concern and straight-on address them. I believe that President Bravman was trying to do just that. And I respect that,” Kim said.
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