Student Support Resources

Students in a dorm room

The College and the Dean of Students Office continue their efforts to enrich diversity and improve inclusion at CMC. Students benefit from shared resources such as International Place, Student Health Services, the Office of Black Student Affairs, Chicano Latino Student Affairs, the Queer Resource Center, the Interfaith Office of the Chaplains, the Student Disability Resource Center, the Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services Center and the emPOWER center. Additional action steps taken include:

  • Following up commitments made in November 2015, the College retained the executive search firm Isaacson, Miller to assist with the search for a new Assistant or Associate Dean of Students. Reporting to the Vice President for Student Affairs, the new Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, Vincent Greer, was hired at the end of the 2015-2016 academic year and will start on July 1, 2016. Dean Greer will play a pivotal leadership role in the support of students from a diversity of backgrounds, identities, political ideologies, experiences, perspectives, and ideas to reinforce a shared sense of belonging in the community and to empower student success. He will also develop programs and initiatives within the Dean of Students Office that focus on a fully engaged and inclusive college experience for all students. Some of his essential functions include:

    • Serve as a campus advocate, advisor, counselor, and liaison for students of diverse, intersecting social identities not limited to race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, religion, socioeconomic class, and sexual orientation.

    • Build capacity within the College for all students to learn how to value and take full advantage of engaged and inclusive diversity within the College through reinforcement of core values: open inquiry and understanding, civil discourse and good citizenship, and mutual respect and support.

    • Provide leadership and support to a student resource center dedicated to enrich experience with diversity and inclusion at the College.

    • Provide educational experiences and training programs, from orientation to more advanced programs, for student leaders, groups, and organizations, including, without limitation, Associated Students of Claremont McKenna College, College Programming Board, First-Year Guides, and Resident Assistants.

    • Provide ongoing assessment of any barriers to success and contribute to College support, retention, graduation, and post-graduate success, in collaboration with other offices, including: Admission and Financial Aid, the Center for Writing and Public Discourse, the cultural centers of the Claremont Colleges, Off-Campus Study & Fellowships, the Career Services Center, the Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services Center, and others.

    • Serve as DOS liaison to 7C diversity resources including: Office of Black Student Affairs, Chicano Latino Student Affairs, Chaplains Office, Queer Resource Center, International Place, and others.

    • Serve as a member of the Campus Climate Committee of the Personal and Social Responsibility Initiative.

    • Participate on the Admission and Financial Aid Subcommittee on Diversity and support the outreach and recruitment efforts of the Admission Office’s Multicultural Advisory Council (MAC).

    • Communicate with other CMC and DOS staff regarding student issues and concerns.

    • Represent the DOS office to students, parents, CMC staff and faculty, and prospective students.

    • Serve as member of the On-Call Dean staff (approximately three-four weeks per year) to provide crisis intervention to stabilize situations, investigate and resolve concerns, coordinate notifications in accordance with College policies, and respond in a timely manner.

    • Develop, interpret, and enforce College policies.

    • Serve as a member of the College’s Incident Management Team.

    This new Assistant Dean position will work to keep inclusion and diversity at the forefront of College actions and efforts.

  • Faculty and staff are invited to take part in training workshops focused on a range of cultural competencies and skills, with a focus on how to facilitate difficult conversations and support the most inclusive and challenging academic environment. In Spring 2016, these opportunities included workshops facilitated by national experts, Mariana Cruz (Diversity 101; Difficult Conversations in the Classroom; Dialogue Facilitation training) and Becky Wai-Ling Packard (Dealing with Challenging Situations in the Classroom; Having Inclusive Conversations with Students). Programs such as these will continue in 2016-2017.

  • The College developed a temporary resource space for students in Spring 2016. Modular G served as a space for expression, learning, dialogue, and the exploration of intersecting social identities and how they inform the ways in which people live, learn, and engage the world.

     

    • The space was designed to support and connect students seeking to explore diversity and inclusion along multiple dimensions. The Dean of Students Office offered weekly orientation sessions for all students so that any student wishing to access Modular G was familiar with the resource library and agreed to the general tenets of respectful use.

    • CMC hired four students to staff the temporary resource center as Diversity and Inclusion Fellows in Spring 2016. The open application process was launched on February 10 by the Dean of Students office in an email inviting applications from all students at the college. Applications were due on February 21. There was a paper review to advance candidates to the interview round. Each finalist candidate was interviewed by a panel that included representatives from the Dean of Students Office, the Resident Assistant staff, and Mariana Cruz. Four students were hired and were paid an hourly wage. They each dedicated approximately 10 hours/week to this job.

    • In Fall 2015 and Spring 2016, the Steering Committee worked with student, faculty, and staff input to develop a proposal for a more permanent student resource center to function as an integral part of, and with support from, the Dean of Students Office. Multiple community forums, presentations, and roundtable discussion groups were held to gather input to inform the proposal. The proposal was crafted under the premise that the contribution of a variety of voices adds value to the institution and enriches the education of every member of the community. The capacity to understand different people, perspectives, and experiences is a critical foundation for learning how to lead in a plural society. The proposal was approved by the Board of Trustees in May 2016. The center, which is not yet named, will open in Fall 2016.

      Timeline of Planning
      November 20 and December 6, 2015: Community forums, including presentations from Mariana Cruz to explain resource center models.
      January 26, 2016: Athenaeum dinner: Panel Discussion and Moderated Conversation on Campus Resource Centers, followed by roundtable sessions. Presentations by Sumi Pendakur, associate dean for institutional diversity at Harvey Mudd College; Yuka Ogino, interim director of SCORE at Scripps College, and Mariana Cruz, independent consultant and former director of the multicultural center at Amherst College. Participants wrote down comments which were submitted and aggregated for analysis by the PSR Campus Climate Committee.
      February 19 and February 22, 2016: Staff roundtable discussions at Collins Dining Hall to talk about resource center design at CMC.
      February 22, 2016: PSR Campus Climate Committee met with members of CMCers of Color and ASCMC to discuss a written proposal for a resource center.
      February 24 and February 25, 2016: Faculty roundtable discussions at Collins Dining Hall to talk about resource center design at CMC.
      February 26 and March 9, April 1, and April 29, 2016: PSR Steering Committee meetings dedicated in whole or in part to discussions of the resource center. Background readings about resource centers were also distributed.

  • ASCMC approved and appointed a new Diversity Chair position on its board to help ensure that issues related to diversity and inclusion are consistently considered in student government decision-making processes.

  • With the success of The Student Imperative fundraising initiative, the College continues to implement increasing levels of support for new scholar programs, including mentorship, advising, and the facilitation of internships.

  • CMC will continue to improve its capacity to support mental health among its students.

    • The Council of Presidents approved additional staffing at Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services Center.

    • Monsour’s counseling services were supplemented by on-site counseling services through the Spring 2016 semester.

    • The College and its consortium partners are exploring the use of 24/7 crisis hotlines and other approaches to build capacity and access to counseling at the Claremont Colleges.