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.

1. "Any student or faculty member involved in racial discrimination against others should receive a severe punishment-dismissal."

"Revise the current Anti-Harassment policy to a zero-tolerance level for all hate speeches. Consequences for these offenses should be listed, as done for other infractions in the student handbook."

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

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 In Progress

Progress
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.  

2. "Add a test focus on anti-racism in the EVERFI module start next semester."

"The administration will identify a liaison who directly works between communications and international students rather than just having communications with student organizations. The school should allocate more funding to create more opportunities, including for first year domestic students to enhance domestic students international understanding and appreciation of other cultures."

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.  

3. "School dining hall should provide more food for Minority"

Lead Responsible Party
Jennifer Uryniak, Interim Director, Auxiliary Services

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

Status In Progress

Progress
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. 

4. "Add more security facilities, such as adding a camera to public places such as the first floor of the dormitory."

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 In Progress

Progress
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. 

5. Hire more multilingual RAs and increase diversity training for all RAs.

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 Substantially Complete

Progress
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.

6. "Set up Minority scholarship to allow scholarships for international students with outstanding academic performance, social practice, or other excellent abilities."

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
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. 

7. "Hire more counselors to represent all marginalized identities on campus."

"Prioritize the mental health of marginalized communities on campus (consistently and particularly during racially-charged incidents) and expand the presence of counselors of color at the Barnes Center at the Arch, as well as diversifying the faculty and staff within each college."

Lead Responsible Party
Rob Hradsky, Vice President for the Student Experience

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
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.

8. "Provide an online reporting system with the ability to upload photos and documents anonymously."

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