Over the summer we asked you, our students, to join us in coming together to help make Case Western Reserve the “kind of welcoming and inclusive community we can and should be.”
When 192 of you responded, we felt inspired—and humbled.
To see so many eager to engage around difficult issues like race, sexual misconduct and mental health underscored your impressive commitment to this campus—and to one another. We knew we needed to honor such dedication, and do everything we could to sustain it.
We consulted with your undergraduate and graduate student leaders,* and they offered outstanding advice—namely, that achieving new outcomes required alternative approaches. Instead of administrators reviewing submissions and selecting some to participate, they urged invitations to all who completed the forms. And, we listened.
Our original request asked that you indicate areas of interest. The list included not only race, gender, and mental health, but also individuals with disabilities, LGBTQ+ topics, and sexual misconduct. Students also could suggest additional subjects not listed; we collectively agreed to add one of those, Greek Life.
Through our discussions with leaders, we developed a task force structure that features an executive board and seven committees—each focused on an individual area. Each committee includes student co-chairs, as well as two to three faculty and/or staff advisors. The committees will invite every student who expressed interest in their area; at their discretion, these committees also can establish subcommittees.
Our conversations with student leaders also led to another step. As happens in many such endeavors, the Executive Board will ask each committee to develop a mission statement and identify three priorities that support it.
But rather than spend months only developing extensive plans around those priorities, the committees also can recommend concrete measures as they identify opportunities. In some instances, the committees might work directly with an office to effect a change, while in others the executive board might partner with that committee.
Of course, many objectives cannot be so quickly addressed. Increasing the number of underrepresented faculty on campus, for example, must be an ongoing effort that involves multiple areas of the institution.
Nevertheless, all progress matters, and we encourage many kinds of forward movement.
The students also named the overall effort “For a Better CWRU: A Student-Led Task Force.” We cannot wait for all of us to get started.
Below we list the members of the Executive Board. Next week we will provide a webpage that lists all of the committees’ co-chairs and advisors.
Vice President for Student Affairs
Vice President for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity
*From Undergraduate Student Government, Graduate Student Council and the Undergraduate Diversity Collaborative.
In addition to co-chairs Stark and Solomon, the Executive Board’s membership is:
- Heather Burton, PhD: Senior Director for Faculty and Institutional Diversity
- Wintana Eyob: Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion, Undergraduate Student Government (USG)
- Ayesha Bell Hardaway, JD: Assistant Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Social Justice Institute
- Erica Johnson: Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Graduate Student Council (GSC)
- Dan Lee: Undergraduate, liaison with administrators of anonymous Instagram accounts regarding areas of concern at Case Western Reserve
- Aaron McPeck: President, GSC
- Anna Miller: Director of Advocacy, GSC
- Shirley Mosley: Associate Vice President and Dean of Students
- Naomi Sigg: Director of Multicultural Affairs
- Kathy Petras: Director of Orientation and Associate Director Office of First-Year Experience and Family Programs
- Dana Prince, PhD: Assistant Professor, Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences
- Fatima Rahman: President, Undergraduate Diversity Council
- Jay Sangani, President, Student Health and Wellness Council
- Hunter Stecko: President, USG
- Sophie Vilamara: Vice President of Student Life, USG