Boston College launched DiversityEdu this fall to educate students about the complexities surrounding diversity in the wake of the Silence is Still Violence movement and the events surrounding it. Interim Vice President of Student Affairs Joy Moore said that, overall, students she spoke to felt like the module was useful and worthy of their time.
Moore explained that the committee that initiated DiversityEdu, which was made up of students, faculty, and staff, went into the program’s implementation understanding that it was not going to be a be-all, end-all solution for diversity issues.
“This was just one way in which to get the conversation started a bit more and to try and bring everybody to sort of one place where they’re hearing and learning some of the language and nuances that, if you didn’t already know, could be viewed as offensive to some people,” she said.
“I do hope that people didn’t think that, ‘Oh look, this one module now is going to solve our diversity issues,’ because that was not the intent. It needs to be multi-pronged and consistent and last over [long periods] of time.”
Moore said that the administration tried to move swiftly to respond to requests students made for the module made following the Silence is Still Violence protests last year. Other suggestions students made after the demonstrations included increased faculty diversification, a process that Moore said has been ongoing and has achieved some success, and a student climate survey, which Moore said is currently in the works.
Moore said the committee is going to meet to discuss further what exactly will happen to the program, but the expectation is that it will continued to be used in future years, particularly for incoming freshmen.
The module will be tweaked to include more scenes and faces from Boston College so that it will have a look and feel much more particular to the University going forward, according to Moore. The committee will look at some of the module’s sections more carefully and adjust them based on feedback as well.
Some of the feedback around the module Moore received centered around the fact that it is more passive than programs like AlcoholEdu, which includes performance assessments that students must pass in order to move on with the module—DiversityEdu can be played in a minimized window for a majority of the program, allowing some students to circumvent the intended purpose of the module.
“You can move through [DiversityEdu] without having any sort of stop blocks, and that’s sort of something that we’ll probably look at as well to see if there’s a way to tweak that, or if there’s a way to maybe score it so that you’re ending up with a number or letter or something at the end of it,” she said.
“I would just hope that students feel that it’s worthy enough of their time to listen and be open to something that’s trying to create an opportunity to maybe learn something that you didn’t know you didn’t know,” she said.
Moore said the committee will probably try to enlist more students and get together to map out the instruments, programs, and ideas that can be used to create more conversation around diversity.
“This isn’t going to be the end, because the diversity conversation is a lifetime conversation,” she said.
Featured Image by Julia Hopkins \ Heights Editor