One of the prongs of The Student Imperative is Personal and Social Responsibility (PSR). Across the campus, student and administrative efforts are underway to address high-risk drinking, drug use, sexual misconduct, academic dishonesty, and campus climate issues. These ongoing campus-wide efforts are intended to cultivate responsible decision-making and responsible social behavior and interactions. The PSR Initiative represents our institutional commitment to meet these challenges head on by drawing on the collective wisdom and collaborative efforts of our trustees, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and most critically, our students.
To ensure that ongoing attention is paid to each challenge, the College has established four committees to study each challenge area within the specific context of Claremont McKenna College. The committees support the efforts of others on campus and make recommendations that promote personal and social responsibility in the CMC community:
Each of the four committees has identified specific areas in which they will focus their efforts. The committees are now making recommendations for action, which will be considered by the PSR Steering Committee.
The PSR Steering Committee meets regularly to assess the progress of each of the four PSR committees, ensuring that action items are tasked to the appropriate people, communicated clearly and tracked for effectiveness.
Each year Claremont McKenna College confers degrees on up to 300 deserving students. Their diplomas are symbols of accumulated knowledge and skills that have prepared our young graduates to pursue, as we often say, “thoughtful and productive lives and responsible leadership in business, government, and the professions.”
In a world continually challenged by corruption, violence, and inequality, CMC’s mission is perhaps more relevant today than ever before. But daily media accounts of troubling behaviors on our nation’s college campuses call for reinvigorated forms of student leadership. High-risk drinking, sexual misconduct, academic dishonesty, and campus climate issues are problems facing even the most selective institutions.
CMC’s Personal and Social Responsibility (PSR) Initiative is our response to these national challenges. The initiative forms the third prong of The Student Imperative— and places an emphasis on understanding and improving the social dimension of our campus and student behavior. The PSR Initiative represents our institutional commitment to meet these challenges head-on by drawing on the collective wisdom and collaborative efforts of our trustees, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and most critically, our students.
A broadly representative committee structure is in place to study each challenge area within the specific context of Claremont McKenna College and to make recommendations that promote personal and social responsibility in the CMC community.
The goal is not a report, but a plan and series of actions.
Continuing the work completed last year through the Mirza Summit on Personal and Social Responsibility, committees met this fall to discuss the CMC experience and explore the causes and consequences of students’ behavioral choices. This spring, the conversations will shift to a solutions-based approach, as the committees make well-reasoned recommendations that include everything from policy adjustments to wellness initiatives designed to support our students’ growth. The recommendations will be reviewed by a PSR leadership team to ensure action items are tasked to the appropriate people, communicated clearly, and tracked for effectiveness.
CMC’s rich enhancements in intellectual life and the arts, global and off-campus study, athletics and fitness programs, and enhanced support for change-making (leadership, community engagement, entrepreneurship, and social innovation) are just some of the many resources the College will leverage to aid in this effort.
David Leathers ’15, a student involved in this committee work, has reflected on his experiences this semester in a way that we hope will be true for many of our students.
“Participating in the PSR Initiative has been an extraordinary way to represent student voices during important conversations at the College,” he told me. “Part of what makes CMC an amazing institution is the opportunity for constant self-reflection. I think this initiative will be a successful step towards optimizing the campus climate for each and every student.”
Cole Mora ’17 echoes Leathers’ sentiments.
“I am optimistic and excited when I think about what the PSR Initiative can mean for this school and this community,” he said. “I see it as a chance to hear the voices that otherwise go unheard, to grow from those important and challenging discussions, and to make CMC a place that lives up to its reputation by truly leading the way for others to do the same.”
Claremont McKenna College is dedicated to cultivating courageous, empathic, creative leaders. A CMC degree is not simply a credential. It also represents a value system for pursuing opportunities that will improve conditions in our nation and the world. Our obligation is great, but so is our commitment to this calling.
Dianna Graves ’98 is Director of Academic Planning in the Office of the Dean of the Faculty and also serves as one of the College’s Title IX Deputy Coordinators.