The Campus Culture Task Force Committee held an open forum discussion in regards to the recent proposal which will be submitted to the Chancellor as suggestions to lower hate speech activity on campus. Student Body President Jay Dawkins led the beginning of the forum by reviewing the 34 page document filled with explicit suggestions by each of the three subcommittees. By breaking the large group into three smaller subcommittees, each was able to focus on a different aspect of what policies student conduct codes and how the campus climate can be altered to better serve the student body. To further address student concerns, Dr. Jose Picart, committee chair, allocated an online response system so students can access the site link and offer suggestions to the proposal, their thoughts about the efforts of campus administration and personal reflections of the event. Students are encouraged to submit examples of ways to improve the current campus climate, plus indicate ways the University can cut down on the number of hate-motivated activity on campus.
Although the site link drew student responses, to date, it still has a record of less than 100 responses as Picart reported to Dawkins. In a university this large, that would raise a red flag to the hundreds that attended rallies, prior campus forums and student government legislative meetings. Many of the submissions were made by non-N.C. State students, but rather students that attend surrounding institutions and alumni; with regard to rumors about closing the tunnel not the proposed policy changes, said Dawkins. “Tradition stands,” said Neil Ballentine, a junior in biological sciences. Jay Dawkins followed up by saying, “We are the envy of other campuses,” referring to sister institutions that do not have the privilege of expressing their thoughts publicly on campus. Matt Woodward, a freshman in microbiology and campus climate subcommittee member said, “We don’t have a mission statement for diversity or a code of ethics.” He discussed how other universities that have both and these policies have become an integral part of the campus climate within their campuses.
If N.C. State students would embrace these changes and promote them, as other institutions, we could socialize the changes with “Pack Pride” and implement a diversity lecture series along with improving behavior within the tunnel. “Civility is the major issue,” said Woodward. Dawkins said N.C. State has some policies in place but they can be better. “We need to grab on to what is already out there and amplify it” he said. Dawkins went further to say that “We need to be a model, students should be very aware of our ethics policies.” The final meeting for the task force was Feb. 16. The committee will finalize all suggestions for the policy directly after this meeting and submit them to the Chancellor for review. In response to the urgency for results from this proposal Woodward said, “The chancellor will make the final decision, they are only recommendations.”