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Dickinson Listens

Dickinson is fully committed to the important and ongoing work of creating an inclusive campus—a campus that extends full support and a sense of belonging to all community members. Fundamental to this cause is listening. 

If you have an idea, comment, suggestion, or feedback regarding campus diversity, equity, and/or inclusivity, we welcome your input. Please connect with the members of the All-college Committee on Equity, Inclusivity, & Belonging by emailing If you wish to report an incident of bias, please complete a Bias Response Form for review by members of the Bias, Education & Response Team.



A student group called Why We Wear Black (subsequently renamed the Student Liberation Movement – SLM) staged a demonstration during an on-campus Thanksgiving dinner in Fall 2015 that brought awareness to many issues that marginalized students faced. The following day over 700 students, faculty, and staff responded to their call to action, meeting in ATS to share their grievances regarding the campus climate at that time.

During the meeting, students were asked to write down their concerns and recommendations to improve inclusion on campus. Over winter break, members of the student group compiled from that feedback what students were asking for. 

The college took these ASKS very seriously, and in an effort to build on the college's commitment to diversity and creating an inclusive campus, developed strategies and took action to address each one of them.

Presented here is a synthesis of the institutional responses to date. The college continues to take action and because creating an inclusive campus is an ongoing process, we invite community input to guide our collective work in meeting this goal. Send your thoughts to us at:


Creating an inclusive campus is an on-going process. We welcome your input. Send your thoughts to us at:

A. Training and Development

First-Year Program
Staff and faculty training on diversity/inclusivity
Safety, violence, and sexual assault

We ask that faculty, administrators and officers in student organizations participate in diversity training programs applicable to their respective areas of leadership. This training should educate participants on how to:

a) Engage students in dialogue across differences.
b) Facilitate discussions on the intersection of power with race, gender, disability, sexuality, religion, and class.
c) Coherently respond to and responsibly resolve issues concerning the identity markers above.
d) Create and maintain an environment of mutual respect and appreciation.
e) Review their own administrations, departments, committees, and organizations for bias and/or discriminatory practices.


The members of Senior staff had a productive conversation with representatives from the Student Liberation Movement which motivated the college to investigate and implement changes for the Fall 2016 Orientation to deepen the dialogue and learning around diversity and inclusion.

The Office of Equity & Inclusivity continues to administer a required first-year diversity & inclusion theme during extended orientation facilitated by the Social Justice Peer Educators. They, along with Access and Disability Services, also provide additional diversity & inclusion themed programs from which students can choose as a part of their extended orientation. 

Beginning Fall 2018 The Office of Equity & Inclusivity (also known as the “Landis Collective”) launched the Landis Listens series to provide a space for underserved campus populations to voice their concerns in a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) format.

Beginning Fall 2017 the Popel Shaw Center for Race & Ethnicity (PSC) launched “Did you really just say that?” Workshops on resolving cultural conflicts for students, faculty, and staff. Over 100 community members participated in the fall 2017 and 2018 workshops.

Additional workshops focused on diversity and inclusivity developed for faculty and staff have included:

  • Inclusive Pedagogy: Implicit Bias and Microaggressions in the Classroom
  • Inclusive Pedagogies 2.0: Creating an inclusive syllabus workshop for faculty and staff.
  • Universal Design for Learning
  • Tips for Creating an Inclusive Classroom and Syllabus
  • Costumes and Cultural Appropriation Conversation (The workshop is complemented by a flowchart regarding selecting culturally sensitive costumes distributed throughout campus)

Beginning in Fall 2016: Dickinson facilitated an Inclusive Leadership Student training (ILST) retreat at the Carlisle Comfort Inn & Suites. Over 100 participants representing 30 clubs, organizations and offices have participated.

Staff enrolled in the Human Resource Services’ Management Development program now engage in a "Developing Cultural Awareness as a Management Practice" workshop.

Dickinson is committed to providing a supportive working and learning environment for all employees and students. Human Resource Services (HRS) uses educational programs, such as, Protecting Our Community and Preventing Workplace Harassment and the Campus Save Act to advance knowledge of these hazards and all employees are required to participate.

HRS works with departments throughout the year to support their overall goals and developmental needs. They routinely conduct needs assessments for developing specific training programs based on the evolving needs of the campus community.

Student Life Division staff members offer monthly programming centered on diversity topics that are specifically for faculty and staff. There are also opportunities for faculty and staff to receive training programs, such as Ally Worship, Trans 101, and RAISE.

The college is deeply invested in increasing campus safety in general, and safety as it relates to sexual assault and misconduct in particular. We have a strong Sexual Harassment and Misconduct policy in place. A full-time Title IX coordinator and assistant Title IX coordinator. In addition, the Presidential Working Group on Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct and Title IX was established in Fall 2017 to evaluate the college’s Sexual Misconduct Policy to remain in compliance of updated regulations from the Department of Education.

B. Student Campus Resources

Mental Health Resources
Staff Diversity
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance

We ask that Dickinson College hire and retain staff of color in the Wellness Center, Biddle House, and Landis House. In addition, we ask for:

a) Frequent disability awareness training for faculty, where they are provided strategies for classroom instruction. While we understand that this already exists, we think the frequency at which faculty are asked to attend the workshop should be reevaluated to fit the needs of students with disabilities and disability services.

b) Familiarize all staff members in the Wellness Center, Biddle House and Landis House with anti-oppressive practice in order to thereby assist students struggling with issues of oppression relating to race, gender, sexuality, class, disability, etc.

c) Develop a program to reduce the stigma on mental illness and otherwise making the Wellness/Counseling Center and other available supportive resources more accessible to students, particularly to students of color.

d) Gender-Neutral Restrooms
    i) We ask for a minimum of one gender-neutral bathroom per building.
    ii) All single-toilet public restrooms should be made non-gender specific.
    iii) Signs for dual-gender restrooms should be changed to non-gender specific signs (ie. Library, Kaufman Hall).


 The Wellness Center continues to attempt to anticipate student requests for services and establish policies that allow them to keep up with demand. The need for ongoing changes to wellness center policies will continue each year.

The Wellness Center, like many departments on campus, values hiring diverse candidates. Despite continued efforts, it remains difficult to attract interest and foster diverse applicants. The Wellness Center has added specific language to all job descriptions hoping to attract candidates with specific interests in working with marginalized groups. 

 The Wellness Center continues to provide its staff with professional development opportunities geared toward intercultural competency, as well as on-campus and off-campus training related to assisting students struggling with issues of oppression relating to race, gender, sexuality, class, disability, etc.

Access and Disability Services (ADS) for many years has offered training for new faculty and First-Year Seminar instructors and provides explicit accommodation-related guidance to professors at the beginning of each semester. They continue to meet with individual academic departments to promote best practices and address discipline-specific questions about classroom instruction and relevant disability law

The Popel Shaw Center (PSC)  offers weekly walk-in hours to allow opportunities for both students and student groups to request appointments regarding personal and academic issues, as well as meetings with student groups seeking collaboration and/or support.

In Spring 2016, the Bias Education & Response Team (BERT) added an HR professional to the committee to foster a more unified approach to the college’s promotion of bias awareness and reporting procedures. In the summer of 2016, BERT and HR collaborated to begin integrating bias awareness information and reporting procedures into new faculty and staff training.

Since Spring 2017 BERT has invited two student representatives to serve on the team annually and in Fall 2017, BERT began inviting faculty representatives.

In Fall 2016, the PSC Advisory Group was established as an interdepartmental and multidisciplinary group of Dickinson faculty, staff, and students to foster collaboration and locate opportunities for co-curricular partnerships. The group meets routinely with the PSC director to discuss relevant issues in higher education.

In Fall 2016, representatives from PSC, ADS, BERT, LGBTQ Services, and the Center for Global Studies and Engagement began hosting Campus Inclusion Week, and have continued offering this week-long series every September, expanding its content and partners to include Human Resources Services, Waidner-Spahr Library, Student Athletic Advisory Committee, the Women's and Gender Resource Center, the Center for Social Justice and Spirituality, the President’s Commission on Inclusivity, and others. This program continues annually. This program continues annually.

The Trans Advocacy Committee recommended all single-toilet public restrooms be made gender-inclusive.In Spring 2017, many bathrooms received new signage designating Inclusive Restrooms and Inclusive Bathrooms for 72 locations on campus.

C. Curriculum

Distribution Requirements
Student Experience

We ask that the college make the following changes related to the student academic experience:
a) Mandate and enforce descriptions of courses in the catalog.
b) Incorporate civic education in all First-Year Programs (First-Year Seminar).


(Ongoing) The college currently posts all course descriptions and continues to advance efforts to make this information more obvious and descriptive as needed.

(Ongoing) The college continuously attempts to strengthen the curriculum. These efforts led to the creation of a major and department of Africana studies, the certificate in Latin American studies, the major in Latin American, Latino and Caribbean studies (LACL), and the creation of a major in Middle East studies.

The college in Fall 2018 established a new Center for Civic Learning & Action through a $900.000 grant by the Andrew W, Mellon Foundation.

Since Fall 2015, the college requires three different types of course work to familiarize students with the ways in which the diversity of human cultures has shaped our world: Languages, U.S. Diversity requirement which was revised to focus explicitly on issues of power and privilege, and Global Diversity.

Created a new tenure eligibile faculty position in Native American studies.

In Spring 2016, the following statement of criteria for faculty evaluation has been added to the Academic Handbook under the faculty section, "Work that supports diversity and inclusivity within the College through recruitment, retention, and mentoring of colleagues and students is highly valued."

D. Faculty Diversity

Hiring and Retention Rate

We acknowledge that a lack of diversity in the faculty affects the student experience at Dickinson, and ask that the college make the following changes relating to the hiring and retention rate of diverse faculty:

a) Institutional membership to the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity by the beginning of Fall 2016.
b) Continue to pursue funding to receive C3 Post-Doctoral fellows.
c) We ask that Dickinson require all departments to add a sentence in their job listings encouraging professors of color and women to apply.

In creating these demands, we understand we are not representative of the entire Dickinson community and that these demands will not address all of the needs of the community, but after reading the concerns you all gave to us, we feel these demands were significant in elevating problems of diversity and inclusion that are plaguing our community at this moment.


(Ongoing) Dickinson joined the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD) in Fall 2016. They have also sponsored individual faculty to participate in programming. Many faculty have utilized available resources that this membership provides.

In Fall 2015, the Provost, Chief Diversity Officer, and HR conducted a faculty orientation session for all tenure track searches which focused on: hiring practices and procedures, strategies for building a robust and diverse pool of candidates and avoiding unconscious/implicit bias in the hiring and interviewing processes.

(Ongoing) Faculty search sessions continue and HR developed a session for staff and began offering this program in Spring 2017.

(Ongoing) In collaboration with Liberal Arts Diversity Officers (LADO), during Spring 2017 Dickinson actively participated in outreach recruitment efforts at research universities that graduate significant numbers of women and people of color, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and Hispanic Serving Institutions.

(Ongoing) Dickinson has an Equal Opportunity Statement and strengthened it for inclusion in all job postings beginning Spring 2016 to show our commitment to hiring diverse faculty and staff.