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International Student Concerns

Below, find the concerns and recommendations presented by International students and signed by Chancellor Kent Syverud on Nov. 21, 2019. For each concern, the lead responsible party has been identified as well as the University's response and progress.

Lead Responsible Party
Steve Bennett, Senior Vice President, Academic Operations, and Chief of Staff

Response
We agree that revisions to the Student Code of Conduct are appropriate to make even more clear the serious consequences for hate speech. We believe the current code of conduct already permits the punishment discussed, and both the text and communication about the code need to be improved. Current policies governing faculty, including the Faculty Handbook, already provide serious consequences for racial discrimination.

Revisions to the Student Code of Conduct will commence immediately and will be fully implemented no later than August, 2020.

Status Substantially Complete

Progress 

August 2020

  • The revised Student Code of Conduct was issued, and students signed it, acknowledging the code as they returned to campus in August.
  • The Office of the Provost will take leadership of moving the anti-harassment policy through the University Senate process.

July 2020

  • The Dean of Students Office is preparing the process to have students sign the Know Your Code and other University policies when they return in August.
  • The Anti-Harassment Policy continues to be under review after feedback from the University Senate.

May 2020

  • The revised Student Code of Conduct was reviewed and approved by the University's Executive Team. The code will be prepared and distributed for student sign-off in the fall. The student Handbook, which does not need Executive Team approval, is still being revised due to new Title IX regulations issued by the Department of Education. The handbook will be ready by fall as a part of a full roll-out of the revised Student Code of Conduct.

    The draft anti-harassment policy was also submitted to various University Senate Committees, the Chancellor’s Council on Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Keith A. Alford for review and comment. After receiving feedback, the Policy Committee will finalize the policy by mid-July.

April 2020

After several meetings between February and April of the student, faculty and staff policies campus engagement committee and subcommittees, final drafts of the code of conduct and anti-harassment policy were circulated to committee members for review. Feedback from the Crouse-Hinds Hall student organizers was incorporated into the draft document. The draft of the anti-harassment policy was shared with the chairs of the Free Speech Working Group.

February 2020

  • An engagement strategy was developed for students, faculty and staff to provide input and feedback on policy revisions. The first engagement with students at the College of Law was held on Feb. 5.
  • On Feb. 18, the student members of Policies Campus Engagement Committee met with the committee leads, Marianne Thomson, Sheriah Dixon, Sheila Johnson-Willis, Abby Perer and Todd Berger. During the meeting, participants discussed the scope and purpose of the committee, reviewed the timeline for engagement, reviewed the relevant campus commitments, reviewed the current conduct code and handbook and proposed revisions, and reviewed the current Anti-Harassment Policy and proposed revisions. The group formed three working groups (conduct code and handbook, sanctioning guidelines and anti-harassment policy). The goal of the working groups will be to create final drafts of each document to then review with the entire student engagement committee. After that, the committee will move forward with engagement with faculty and staff in early March.

January 2020

  • The process is underway to revise the Student Code of Conduct to more clearly state the serious consequences of hate speech. 
  • Research is being done to look at the wording of conduct codes and policies regarding hate speech at other ACC schools.  
  • Students, faculty, staff who signed up for the Policies Student Engagement Committee will be contacted shortly to serve on the workgroups. Committee members will work together to review and discuss new language, which will be fully implemented no later than August 2020.   
  • Student engagement and legal reviews will continue during the spring semester with a project target completion of April. 
  • Additionally, the Division of Enrollment and the Student Experience (ESE) approved an Invest Syracuse proposal of over $80,000 to expand the Bias Response and Education Program. This additional funding will increase the bias response program’s ability to reach additional audiences through presentations by adding one coordinator and increasing peer educators from three to six.  

Lead Responsible Parties
Rob Hradsky, Vice President of the Student Experience

Response
The Provost agrees to this recommendation for the Fall 2020 SEM1OO course. SEM1OO was always intended to be a short term initiative, to be replaced in 2021 with a more comprehensive diversity and inclusion curriculum reform. The University acknowledges that the Fall 2020 SEM1OO course needs to fix the deficiencies of the Fall 2019 SEM1OO course. We will work to achieve that for 2020, investing more resources in pursuit of better learning outcomes. The Provost will include a diverse group of students and faculty in leading this work.

With regard to the more comprehensive diversity and inclusion reform, the existing senate ad hoc committees will increase their work with students and faculty to develop a robust and comprehensive set of credit­ bearing, required courses to meet these learning objectives. The Provost calls upon schools and colleges and the University Senate-the bodies that control curriculum changes—to work constructively and proactively on this and quickly pass these reforms when they are fully developed.

Status Complete

Progress
January 2020

  • In fall 2019, the University launched an online Diversity, Equity and Inclusion training through EVERFI required of new students. The training in the fall 2020 orientation cohort   contains assessment questions to measure how much students gained from completing the module. This information will be used to identify the content of future trainings. New students who did not complete the course in the fall will be required to complete by March, and the trainings will be repeated each fall and spring.
  • Juan Tavares, the director of the Center for International Service, is the appointed liaison.
  • In December, ESE allocated over $400,000 to expand programming, including the Intercultural Conversations Project and to add four additional staff to the Center for International Services to expand services and programs.  

Lead Responsible Party
Jennifer Uryniak, Interim Director, Auxiliary Services

Response
We will facilitate the appropriate student representatives to meet with Food Services promptly.

Status Complete

Progress

July 2020

  • The sous chef researched authentic international recipes. A second round of sampling was held with students who remained on South Campus over the summer. Students provided feedback, and the dining centers’ fall menus were adjusted. Fourteen new Asian-inspired recipes were added to Goldstein Student Center Dining menu. Food Services is sourcing halal meat and reviewing halal recipes. All recipe ingredients are verified to be permitted halal. Committee meetings were held June 25 and July 28.

February 2020

  • Twenty-four students applied to participate in the Student Advisory Group along with 27 faculty and staff members. The group was developed with responsibilities to include menu review and tastings, review of Recipes from Home submissions and plan themed dinners to be held at all dining halls.
  • The first Student Advisory Group meeting was held Feb. 20. Work was assigned to each member and will be discussed at the next meeting, which will be scheduled for the week of March 9.

January 2020

  • A Food Services Student Advisory Group was developed with responsibilities to include menu review and tastings, review of Recipes from Home submissions and plan themed dinners to be held at all dining halls.  
  • A position was created for an executive chef with experience in multicultural menu development in collegiate environments. The hire is expected to be in place this spring. 
  • Ongoing professional development is underway for dining hall staff on multicultural cooking techniques. 
  • Partnerships with local multicultural restaurants are planned to offer cooking workshops with dining hall staff. 
  • At least one new multicultural food item selected by the Food Services Student Advisory Board will be integrated into the regular menu rotation monthly by this spring. 

Lead Responsible Party
Tony Callisto, Senior Vice President, Campus Safety, and Chief Law Enforcement Officer

Response
We agree. We commit to immediately working with security experts to effectively deploy additional cameras and other measures to afford additional security.

Status Substantially Complete

Progress

August 2020

  • As a result of COVID-19, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) has added proactive patrols of campus and the surrounding area every day from 5 p.m. to 4 a.m. to educate students on Cuomo’s executive order on social gatherings and the University’s Stay Safe Pledge.

    During the Spring 2020 semester, DPS introduced residential community safety officers that are stationed in all residence halls 24 hours a day. All students are required to show their SU I.D. every time they enter their residence hall. Visitors to residence halls are prohibited this semester due to COVID-19.

    The installation of additional neighborhood cameras was completed, which includes 11 strategically placed cameras in the near off-campus area.

    DPS has teamed up with the Student Association (SA) to plan a series of student focus groups, which will be facilitated by a third-party partner selected by SA to get feedback on DPS. Further details, including how to sign up, will be shared in the upcoming weeks.

July 2020

  • For Phase 1 of the installation of more security cameras, 140 of the 167 cameras have been installed. All stationary cameras were installed by the end of July. A few elevator cameras will be installed over this semester as project timelines and availability allow.  

June 2020

  • The contractor has started the first phase of the security camera installation process on first-floor lounges/public areas and elevators of all residence halls with a target completion date of Aug. 14.

March 2020

  • Cameras were installed in Flint Hall for Phase 1 and 2, except elevator cameras. Phase 1 and 2 installation of cameras in Graham Dining Hall was completed. The overall project has been paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

February 2020

  • Camera installation in Flint Hall is planned to start in March and end March 22. The Division of Enrollment and the Student Experience will seek student feedback in terms of what locations the cameras are covering.
  • Phase 1 camera additions for all other residences, including installing cameras in first floor lounges/public areas and elevators, are scheduled to start May 11. Planning meetings are currently taking place.
  • Phase 2 additions, including installing cameras in stairwells of all residence halls, are in the planning stages. Planning meetings are currently taking place.
  • Phase 3 additions to all residence halls, including cameras in laundry rooms and dining halls, are in the planning stages. Planning meetings are currently taking place.

January 2020

  • Cameras were installed in Day Hall as a pilot and were fully operational on Dec. 1. 
  • Campus Safety and Emergency Services (CSES) staff has evaluated the current installation and has developed a phased approach and budget estimate for installations in additional residence halls.

Lead Responsible Party
Marianne Thomson, Associate Vice President, Student Experience, and Dean of Students

Response
We will take additional steps to recruit and train more international and multilingual Resident Advisors. 55% of current RAs identify as students of color.

Status Complete

Progress

September 2020

  • The fall 2020 cohort of resident advisors has a range of fluency in a second language. As reported by the RAs, 30 percent are fluent or proficient in a second language, other than English, and 8 percent are fluent or proficient in three languages, including English. At least one student is fluent or proficient in the following languages: Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Hindi, Chinese, German, Hebrew, Telugu, Korean, Lugana, Swahilit, Urdu, Vietnamese, Japanese, Italian and French.

August 2020

Additional recruitment efforts for the fall 2020 class included:

  • Worked with the Center for International Services on specific emails geared toward international students. Information was also translated and shared on WeChat through working with Wei Gao, assistant director for international student orientation. 
  • Worked with the Office of Student Activities to send specific emails to its student organization listserv and specifically targeted information to organizations that are focused around multilingual students or have a focus or foundation in diversity, inclusion, social justice or identity-based organizations.
  • Provided information to all cultural centers to share with their student listservs.
  • Collaborated with Emma Ticio Quesada, chair of the languages, literatures and linguistics department for outreach. Quesada shared information to students, and administrators offered to hold an information session for these students.
  • Changed information sessions to include a virtual, pre-recorded session and did not require information sessions to candidates, to provide access for all students interested in the RA position. 
  • Included dialogue about student belonging, providing supportive environments for all students, and a discussion of identities and inclusion in the group interview process.
  • Ensured the hiring of diverse group of students for each RA staff, through the work of professional staff who were intentional with the selection.

May 2020

  • The current RA demographics for fall 2020 are 108 female and 76 male. Also, 54.9 percent (101/184) identify as students of color; 37.5 percent (69/184) identify as white; 7.1 perecent (13/184) identify as international students; and .5 percent (1/184) did not specify. A survey to assess language fluency is pending.

February 2020

  • For spring 2020, 15 resident advisors (RAs) are international students and 39 RAs are multi-lingual.
  • There is a total of 432 applicants (323 new RA and 89 returning RA applications) for fall 2020.
  • Demographic information for the applicants will be available in March. RA interviews were held this month. Hiring decisions are expected in March.
  • The Housing and Residential Experience Campus Engagement Committee held two meetings on Feb. 10. The committee formed five sub-committees: Housing Portal, Multicultural Learning Communities Expansion, OSL Staff Training (RAs and full-time staff), OSL Staff Recruitment and Selection (RA and full-time staff), and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives for Residential Students.

January 2020

  • At the beginning of January, the Office of Student Living launched a comprehensive outreach plan for resident advisor recruitment to encourage applicants who are multilingual to apply. Techniques included, but not limited to, WeChat and other social media and leveraging relationships with the Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics; the Center for International Services; and relevant student organizations.  
  • OSL filled 23 RA vacancies for spring 2020; (14 RAs or 60.9 percent identify as students of color—Asian: 4; Black/African American: 8; Hispanic/Latino: 2; White: 9; Female: 16 and Male: 7). There are 15 international RAs and 39 multilingual RAS.  
  • There is a total of 175 spring 2020 RAs (98 RAs or 56 percent identify as students of color—American Indian/Alaska Native: 2; Asian: 37; Black/African American: 38; Hispanic/Latino: 21; Not Specified: 3; White: 74). There are 105 female and 70 male RAs.   
  • The Office of Student Living (OSL), in partnership with Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) and relevant student organizations, is doubling the capacity for the Students of Color Leadership Retreat to now serve 80 students annually, beginning March 6-8.   
  • The University will establish a new International Students Leadership Retreat to serve 80 students annually beginning in fall 2020. 
  • To provide additional support for full-time and student staff to dive deeper on issues of diversity and inclusion, there will be a daylong professional development session for all full-time OSL staff on Jan. 30 and a two-day retreat for RAs in August.  
  • OSL and the Dean of Students Office hosted a webinar and conversation on Jan. 22, “Supervision with a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Lens.” All supervisors in OSL were required to attend.  
  • The University will hire an assistant director of diversity and inclusion initiatives in OSL this spring. 
  • Over $135,000 in funding has been approved for expansion of the Students of Color Leadership Retreat, OSL staff development and the hiring of diversity and inclusion lead staff person for OSL.

Lead Responsible Party
Ryan Williams, Vice President, Enrollment Services

Response
We agree to enhance financial aid for outstanding international students. The Chancellor will work to include financial aid for all students, including international students, as a priority in the University's $1.5 billion Forever Orange campaign.

Status Substantially Complete

Progress

September 2020

  • Academic scholarships for international students have been awarded to incoming students for the past seven years and will continue. Invest in Success Scholarships have been awarded to international students for 2020-21—the third year in a row. The Syracuse University Greater China Scholarship has awarded scholarships to students in 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21. A goal has been established to grow the Greater China Scholarship fund from $250,000 to $1 million in the current campaign.  

January 2020

  • Academic scholarships for international students have been awarded to incoming students for the past six years and will continue to do so.  
  • Invest in Success Scholarships have been awarded to current international students in 2019 and will be awarded again in 2020.  
  • Additional scholarship fundraising in the Forever Orange Campaign has been targeted to increase international student scholarships. 
  • In January 2018 the Syracuse University Greater China Scholarship was established. The goal has been established to grow the fund from $250,000 to $1 million in the current campaign.   
  • Additional general funding will be targeted for other international students. 

Lead Responsible Party
Andrew R. Gordon, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer

Response
The University has now opened four additional counselor positions (and has hired four counselors in the past year who self-identify as people of color). Three of our existing counselors speak multiple languages.

For the open positions, the University agrees to be attentive to experience and training in mental health issues of marginalized communities. They will be hired before the fall 2020 semester begins. New and current counselors will attend, as is currently the practice, at least five on-campus events and trainings on diversity and inclusion each year. The University will carefully work to identify appropriate enhancements to diversity and inclusion training for counselors.

The University's faculty hiring plan will continue to include emphasis on enhancing diversity.

Status Substantially Complete

Progress

August 2020

A.

  • The University has 32 clinical positions in the FY21 budget; there are 27 staff hired or offers accepted. There are five vacancies: three due to transition of staff this summer, with ongoing recruitment; one ongoing recruitment of an associate director of diversity with clinical experience; and one position to be created in response to indigenous student concerns. Since last spring, Counseling staff members have attended over 80 training sessions.

May 2020

A.

  • Since the spring, 10 counseling positions have been hired and/or offered to begin in time for the fall semester. These positions include, but are not limited to assistant director, staff therapists, staff psychologist, and graduate and post graduate positions. The new hires and offers represent a diverse array of backgrounds and identities, including by race, languages spoken, sex, gender and gender identity, and sexual orientation. Counseling staff have also completed additional training sessions, including anti-racism training, racial disparity and COVID-19 training, trauma-informed care related to race, and how to offer inclusive programming.

February 2020

A.

  • In January, counseling staff attended NASPA Strategies conference with sessions on racism and mental health, LGBTQ support, trauma informed campus communities, and relationship violence in black communities on PWI campuses.
  • Spring semester therapy groups in counseling include two therapy groups for students of color, one therapy group for international students and one therapy group for LGBTQ identified students.
  • The Barnes Center will be able to provide tele therapy to students on the Aetna insurance plan, which includes therapists who speak multiple languages and represent multiple identities.
  • Screening and interviews continue for multiple positions in the Barnes Center. The University continues to be attentive to candidates with experience and training in mental health issues of marginalized communities.
  • On Feb. 12 and 13, Cory Wallack, executive director of the Barnes Center at The Arch presented information on a protocol to elevate mental health of marginalized communities and sought collective feedback and input from the Campus Engagement Committee on Health and Wellness. Committee members agreed to a follow-up meeting in the coming weeks to discuss further.

B.

No Change

C.

  • The University continues to prioritize the recruitment and retention of staff of color, as well as underrepresented groups on campus. While final hiring decisions are made at the unit level, the Office of Human Resources (HR) employs a diverse and highly experienced talent acquisition team to partner with campus, providing guidance on proactive recruitment strategies to attract diverse and inclusive candidates and coaching hiring managers on recognizing and overcoming implicit bias. HR is striving to increase the diversity of the University’s candidate pool by taking proactive steps and expanding its outreach efforts to engage with a broader network of potential employees.
  • A recent example of the success of these efforts is the hiring of over 90 full-time residential community safety officers and coordinators. HR partnered with the Department of Public Safety, Office of Community Engagement, Marketing and Communications, and over 12 local community organizations to implement a successful recruitment campaign. Over 50 percent of these new hires are people of color or members of an underrepresented group on campus.
  • In addition to proactive recruiting through LinkedIn and other digital and online specialized recruitment resources, HR is also leveraging technology to reach a more diverse audience in its advertising of faculty and staff positions. Currently, all of the University’s faculty and staff open positions are posted and distributed to broad job sites, such as Indeed, Chronicle of Higher Education and Higher Ed Jobs, in addition to approximately 60 niche sites that are designed to attract diverse populations, such as The Black Perspective, Campus Pride, Hispanic Today, Women in Business and Industry, US.jobs Disability, Think Beyond the Label, USA Cares, Military Spouse Connections and VetCentral.
  • The Offices of Human Resources and Equal Opportunity, Inclusion and Resolution Services will continue to more regularly and actively monitor the progress of hiring and retention initiatives focused on increasing workforce diversity, identifying successful strategies and utilizing the results to shape and inform future initiatives.

January 2020

A.

  • Four additional counseling positions were created and posted (December 2019). Applicants are being screened and interviews are expected to begin the week of Jan. 27.  
  • The Barnes Center is working with the Office of Human Resources to be attentive to experience and training in mental health issues of marginalized communities 
  • Barnes Center supervisors attended “Supervision with a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Lens,” on Jan. 22. Dr. Jamie Washington presented. 
  • Additionally, the University is seeking to hire an associate director for diversity and inclusion for the Barnes Center by next fall. 

B.

  • The University has expanded its diversity training for all faculty and staff, including the Midwinter Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility advanced institute on Jan. 9. Five topical Inclusive Teaching and Learning workshops for faculty will be offered in 2020. A student advisory group will be established to participate in training development.   
  • The Office of Faculty Affairs is working with academic leadership to include references to these and other mandatory trainings and professional development in new faculty appointment letters by March 15. A new clause in staff offer letters requiring diversity training within 30 days of hire has been instituted.  
  • Along with other resources already in place for diversity hiring, the newly created Diversity Opportunity Hires initiative will bolster faculty diversity by increasing funding aimed at competitive recruitment of faculty from underrepresented minority groups. The University will provide resources necessary to attract faculty members from underrepresented groups in its cluster hires and signature hires initiatives.

Lead Responsible Party
Tony Callisto, Senior Vice President, Campus Safety, and Chief Law Enforcement Officer

Response

The University agrees and now provides this. An anonymous online system for such reporting, including the photo load feature, exists on the DPS website as "Silent Witness" through EthcisPoint. See https://dps.syr.edu/law­enforcement/report-a-crime/

The STOP Bias reporting tool is also available at stopbias.syr.edu.

Status Complete

Progress
January 2020—Completed