This fall St. Olaf College made an effort to educate the St. Olaf community on diversity and inclusivity with an online module called DiversityEdu which was mandatory for all students in order to register for interim and spring semester classes. This was a direct response to Article I Section B of The List of Demands:
We demand the implementation of an equivalent and mandatory racial and cultural sensitivity training session similar to the Think About It and Bystander Training that is enforced on Week One for all incoming first-years. This training would be conducted in person and online. The completion of the online portion will determine student’s accessibility to registration. This needs to be implemented by the Fall of 2019.
While this was an online module that taught about diversity, inclusivity, subconscious bias, and microaggressions, it never acknowledged the existence of overt racism, institutional racism, systematic racism or specifically racial and cultural sensitivity.
St. Olaf College did have a campus-wide follow up for DiversityEdu with four dialogue sessions that were facilitated by Inclusivity Advocates, an Area Coordinator, and staff from the Dean of Students Office. However, students were not required to attend the four dialogue sessions, nor were they given adequate notification time, which lead to the attendance of less than 10 students at each session.
We are calling all students to join us in expressing your feelings about the shortcomings of DiversityEdu. Monday, November 13th, 2017 starting at 10:00am in Buntrock Commons we will all be coming together to make posters. This is a chance to use your voice to bring awareness and impact institutional change. We will be showcasing your posters all around Buntrock Commons. This will be a day-long event, so drop by at any time to get your voice heard.
We will see you Monday!