Task Force Issues Plan to Make Western Carolina University More Inclusive

The Joint Task Force on Racism at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina, was composed of faculty, staff, and students. The task force recently issued a series of recommendations to improve the climate for diversity and inclusion on campus.

Western Carolina University enrolls just under 9,000 undergraduate students and about 1,500 graduate students. African Americans make up 6 percent of the undergraduate student body.

The eight recommendations are:

  1. Clarify the university stance on diversity and inclusion and strengthen the integration of this stance into campus culture.
  2. Jointly create a campus doctrine/social contract of respect for all campus members.
  3. Improve communication about how campus concerns related to diversity and inclusion are being addressed. “
  4. Compile campus diversity-related information.
  5. Regularly conduct formal assessments of campus race/ethnicity equity.
  6. Create a standing university-level committee to address campus issues related to race/ethnicity.
  7. Provide adequate support for the chief diversity officer.
  8. Increase resources for diversity training and education opportunities.

At a forum where the recommendations were announced, David O. Belcher, chancellor of Western Carolina University, stated that “I want everyone to hear this clearly – the members of my senior team and I are committed to WCU as a vibrant, inclusive and diverse institution. We value strongly the notion that diversity in all its forms makes for a strong university and a strong nation. Each person, department and division on this campus can make a difference in making WCU a welcoming place for all people.”

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Comments (3)

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  1. Robert Young says:

    Ok I really understand that diversity is important but when you try to force diversification, then we’re going to have some bad side effects.
    Let me introduce myself, my name is Robert M. Young and I am a recent grad of the College of Business at Western Carolina University. The campus that I enjoyed, most of the time; was very diverse and multicultural environment.
    I myself am
    a 3rd generation Korean and Italian, weird racial combo. Right? My maternal grandmother survived the first Korean war then, subsequently came to America and on the other hand my paternal grandmother was born I’m NYC to Italian parents. I was born and raised here in Western North Carolina, the southern Baptists around this area are kind and welcoming but contrary to popular belief, we don’t have a problem with racism in this region of the country.
    As someone who knows this area of the country better than the transient students that only spend 32 weeks of the year here, I am flabbergasted at the notion of such a task force. There is absolutely no reason for this, other than the whimsical assumptions made by a few who do not live in this region and merely attend here.
    I’m not advocating for not having social services for racially centered services as they are absolutely necessary to thriving democary. However, I am advocating for the roll back of the extremist veiws that have taken hold on this country.
    Yes, there are racist people in this world, I live with a guy at the suites and villas that was as racist a Klansmen in Dubai. I understand people like that have no business being that way but those folks are so far and few between in the world today that it is absolutely arbitrary and ironious that we have to have a ‘Racism Task Force’.
    What in seven hells does that mean anyway?
    What are they going to do, run around campus like Stalin’s secret police putting people on a list?
    This whole idea is an extremist notion and to let a beauracracy such as this exist is, whimsical to say the least.
    Don’t let instances of racism galvenis you against others whom are not at fault for others actions, don’t generalize a group of people as being rasict based on whimsical emotions.
    I’m going to get to the point. This task force, from the outside seems like reverse racism against Anglo Americans.
    I’m going to end this comment with a prescriptive statement.
    Don’t let the animosity of the past breed wars of the future. A famous samurai once said, regarding tactics; that those whom hold stones will enevitalbly throw them at someone.
    Robert M. Young
    CIS Major
    Western Carolina University

  2. James says:

    Well said Robert. I agree with Robert completely.

  3. Joe says:

    Well said Robert. Reverse Racism.

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