Dialogue Day Digest

An initial summary of facilitator evaluations of Dialogue Day, held September 16, shows some encouraging results. Most importantly, Dialogue Day reinforces that there is campus-wide interest in the topic—roughly 1,300 students participated and 200 faculty, staff, and students served as facilitators.

The evaluations indicate that the various discussion groups were most concerned about a wide range of bases of exclusion, ranging from race, ethnicity, and economic class, to sexual orientation, and differences in gender and religious and political ideologies.

Next steps include more in-depth evaluation by Kent Smith, director of institutional research and planning, who has a preliminary report in the works. For members of the Trinity community interested in developing concrete projects in response to Dialogue Day, an initial meeting will be held on October 14, time TBA.

Participants’ suggestions for taking action included:

For students:

  • become more involved in the community and in 'Do It' days

  • encourage more diverse participation in the cultural house activities

  • taking responsibility for one's behavior and taking a stand

For faculty:

  • work on becoming role models for community involvement and for students more generally

  • assign more class group work to encourage interaction among diverse students.

For administration:

  • reassess admissions

  • create more diversity days

  • reorganize first year orientation

Student testimonials that were gathered after the event include:

  • This day gave me an increased awareness of the challenges some students face day to day at Trinity. I hope I will be more sensitive to these issues in the future"

  • "Remembering that diversity goes beyond 'minorities'.  It seems as though there is a general idea that diversity does not include white people, but I realized that it does.”

  • I will try to convince my friends to come with me to more cultural events. I will talk to more classmates and friends about these issues.”

  •  "I can listen to other people's experiences and share my own to create a better understanding between fellow students."
     

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