For a Better CWRU

Abstract image of different people standing together

A Student-Led Task Force

The events of the past several months have prompted profound reflection for many in the Case Western Reserve University community. We have thought carefully about the kind of community CWRU should strive to be. The university’s June 2020 Day of Dialogue highlighted issues involving race on and beyond our campus. Other settings—including social media posts that we have read—have expressed concerns regarding behaviors and actions involving gender, sexual misconduct, LGBTQ+ populations, mental health, individuals with disabilities and more.

While the topics are diverse, they share common themes. Among the most prominent is one of the most fundamental: We have not yet fully become the kind of welcoming and inclusive community we can and should be. In response, a student-led task force will examine the policies, practices and initiatives necessary to achieve a true culture of respect on our campus.

Seven (7), student-led committees report to an Executive Committee who will communicate updates to the President and the President’s cabinet. Each committee will provide a written proposal of recommendations to be considered by the Executive Committee and, ultimately, by the President and the President’s cabinet.

Important Dates

June 11: Spring Day of Dialogue
July 21: Student-Led Task Force Created
September 10: Task Force Begins Engaging 192 Students Who Elected to Serve, Names Executive Board
September 17: Fall Day of Dialogue
November 13: Draft Proposals Due to Executive Board
Mid-November: Gather Student Feedback on Draft Proposals
Late November: Co-Chairs and Advisors Revise Proposals Based on Student Feedback
December 4: Final Proposals Due to Executive Board

Executive Board

  • Robert Solomon, Vice President for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity, Co-Chair
  • Lou Stark, Vice President for Student Affairs, Co-Chair
  • 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

Committees

Draft Mission Statement

Based on our core values as a top research institution with the power and resources to shape the world, we must take institutional action to eradicate systemic racism and foster a community of equity, inclusion, and opportunity. This institutional action must include fiscal and material support that moves beyond platitudes of seeing and hearing and toward intentional change that includes:

  • Promoting and supporting anti-racist pedagogy and the use of anti-racist language throughout all learning and working spaces;
  • Creating a culture that promotes and provides opportunity for dialogue related to individuals' racial experiences;
  • Dismantling and revising inequitable policies, procedures, and programming of the university; and
  • Advocating for inclusiveness in all course curriculums and all disciplines while deliberately expanding the selection of courses and diversity trainings to provide continued education and increased awareness around issues of race and racial justice.

We must make these four systemic changes in addition to those promoted in the Standing in Solidarity with Black Members of CWRU and Cleveland statement released in June 2020.

Committee Co-Chairs

Faculty and Staff Advisors

  • Gregory J. Harris, Senior Associate Dean of Students Division of Student Affairs, gjh45@case.edu
  • Janetta Hammock, Diversity Program Manager, Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity, jmh53@case.edu
  • Dr. Anita Howard, Adjunct Professor, Weatherhead School of Management, axh67@case.edu

Resources

 

Draft Mission Statement

Our mission is to analyze gaps in support, find ways to systemically address and prevent discrimination against LGBTQIA+ students, both on an institutional level and interpersonally, and to provide feedback to the university about ways to further empower LGBTQIA+ students to reach their full potential by increasing institutional support, funding, and collaboration with other relevant offices. 

Committee Co-Chairs

Faculty and Staff Advisors

  • Harry Hawkins, Assistant Director, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Center
  • Liz Roccoforte, Director, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Center, liz.roccoforte@case.edu

Draft Mission Statement

The Gender committee is committed to promoting gender equality and equity on the CWRU campus. We will work to gather and listen to the campus community’s concerns with gender-based issues, then craft targeted recommendations for change on campus. Our work seeks to challenge assumptions underlying CWRU policies, practices and institutions, and embrace a broad definition of gender as it intersects with other elements of identity, including race, ethnicity, nationality, sexuality, disability, mental health, interpersonal violence, and others. In addition, we plan to work with other committees on overlapping issues within the community.

Committee Co-Chairs

Faculty and Staff Advisors

  • Luke Ahrens. Assistant Dean of Students & Case Manager Division of Student Affairs, luke.t.ahrens@case.edu
  • Dr. Angela Clark-Taylor, Director, Flora Stone Mather Center for Women, axc954@case.edu

Draft Mission Statement

Our mission is to maintain an environment that cultivates respect for community members to ensure an educational environment free of harassment. We will strive to develop collaborative and strong relationships across and between university offices, students, staff, and faculty to promote transparency and accountability, provide support for survivors of sexual misconduct, and make systemic changes through programs, advocacy, policy and resources to meet the needs of our campus community.

Committee Co-Chairs

Faculty and Staff Advisors

Draft Mission Statement

Our mission is to improve the experience at CWRU for the disabled community, to increase access to reasonable accommodations, and to ensure equitable access to campus resources and infrastructures. 

Committee Co-Chairs

Faculty and Staff Advisors

  • Eboni Porter, Assistant Dean, Disability Resources Division of Student Affairs, eboni.porter@case.edu
  • Kaley Smitley, Senior Assistant Director, Disability Resources Division of Student Affairs, kaley.smitley@case.edu

Get Involved

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Draft Mission Statement

Our mission is to reduce barriers to mental health access by educating students on mental health resources, ensuring students feel comfortable reaching out for support, addressing mental health misconceptions, and facilitating the connection between students and a diverse counselor population.

Committee Co-Chairs

Faculty and Staff Advisors

  • Dr. Rich Pazol, Director, Counseling Services, University Health and Counseling Services Division of Student Affairs, richard.pazol@case.edu
  • Kim Scott, Assistant Dean of Students & Case Manager Division of Student Affairs, kimberly.scott@case.edu

Draft Mission Statement

Our mission is to make Greek Life safe and welcoming for all Case Western students. We acknowledge that a lack of clear and effective communication between affiliated and unaffiliated students has fed into much of the tension related to Greek Life, thus, we aim to bridge the gap between affiliated and unaffiliated students in order to serve both those who participate in - as well as those who have felt excluded from - Greek organizations. Greek Life is exclusive in nature, and we aim to take this into account as we reshape these organizations in such a way that no student feels they “don’t belong”. 

Committee Co-Chairs

Faculty and Staff Advisors