Council on Campus Climate Releases Action Plan

PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University President V. Lane Rawlins has accepted the action plan of the Council on Campus Climate. In its recommendations, the council specifically addresses violence, recruitment and retention of faculty and staff of color, homophobia and racism.

“The council has done an excellent job of including input from the entire WSU community,” said Rawlins. “This is a set of recommendations that we will take seriously and begin to utilize immediately.” Rawlins said appropriate task forces would now be set up to implement the council’s recommendations beginning in the 2001-02 school year.

Highlights of the action plan recommendations include the following:

–WSU will develop a systematic, campus-wide incident reporting system that fosters an effective and efficient community network for dealing with violent acts.

–The recruitment and retention of faculty and staff of color will be set as a major priority for the WSU Provost and Council of Deans.

–The Office of Human Relations and Diversity will develop an outline for devoting additional resources to combat homophobia.

–A committee will be formed to coordinate a high-profile conference on racism, diversity and community issues. A task force with key decision makers should look into moving multicultural student centers to the center of campus.

–WSU will establish a covenant with the community to sponsor an annual forum led by the president and the provost to educate and bring awareness of violence, racism and homophobia.

The council began meeting Oct. 10, 2000, to develop a plan of action for improving climate on campus for students, faculty and staff, regardless of race, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, age or ability. Council members include 20 students and 10 faculty/staff.

Milton Lang, director of recruitment and retention for the College of Education, serves as the council chair. He said the document produced by the council, which is made up primarily of students, will not be something that sits on the shelf gathering dust. “This will be an ongoing resource for the university and will be updated as needed in the future,” Lang said.