What is Campus Climate?
“Climate” on a college campus is a term that is used to discuss our environment related to the inclusive nature of our campus. It’s a term used to describe whether or not students feel included and safe in the larger campus community. While it is an issue that is large and sometimes overwhelming, it is important that we as students are making sure that our peers are feeling welcomed and at home. There are things that go on every single day that make people feel unsafe, and while these acts may seem like nothing these microagressions have larger and far-reaching effects that go beyond our university. Serving on this committee gives you a chance to learn about other students and to address issues that aren’t talked about everyday, but are nonetheless important to our campus community.
UNITE: A systemwide student steering committee on campus climate
Application for the 2012-13 academic year
Extended deadline: April 22, 2012, at 5 pm to firstname.lastname@example.org
There are a couple things that every UC student knows if they work on outreach, access, retention, and the broad range of issues known together as campus climate. First, they know that our campus climate is not where it needs to be. In the last 18 months, students of color and students from underrepresented communities have lived through multiple events that alienate them from their campus community, make them feel unwelcome, and make it harder for them to succeed as a UC student. But the moments that got major media attention are not the only issues that students of color and students from underrepresented communities face — bias incidents occur commonly, unnoticed by the media and the administration, and microaggressions happen everyday across the UC.
The second thing you know is that, while not enough change has happened, students have played an integral role in creating the change that HAS happened.
In the spirit of activism and solidarity among the UC student body, we are forming UNITE: A systemwide student steering committee on campus climate. There is already a Systemwide Steering Committee on Campus Climate made up of campus administrators who focus on diversity and inclusion. We are the two student representatives. We support that committee’s goals, but we need a student space that can push the UC further, and faster.
UNITE will provide student leaders who work daily on campus climate a common space filled with students doing the same work from across the UC. Students from UC Irvine can share their successes with students from UC Davis. Students from UC Merced can share their frustrations with students from UC Santa Cruz. The idea is to share what worked, what didn’t, what challenges remain, and what strategies to pursue. The ultimate goal is to foster a healthier, more welcoming, and more positive environment at the UC, where students of color and students from underrepresented communities are present in large numbers and able to thrive academically, personally, and socially.
Three to five students from each campus will be selected to serve on UNITE by a diverse, student-only selection committee. Students will be evaluated on their experience advocating on behalf of students, their knowledge of campus climate issues, and their commitment to improving campus climate throughout the UC. Race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical disability, religion, and immigration status will not be taken into account.
The application is below. The deadline has been extended to April 22, 2012.
Thank you for your commitment to students, and to improving our campus climate.
– Jonathan Stein
UC Student Regent-Designate
– Patrick Manh Le
Undergraduate Committee Chair, University of California Student Association (UCSA)