UNCW discusses diversity and inclusion on campus

The+view+a+Chancellor%27s+Walk+on+UNCW%27s+campus.+

Lauren Wessell

The view a Chancellor’s Walk on UNCW’s campus.

Veronica Wernicke, News Editor

Last week UNC Wilmington’s (UNCW) Interim Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. Donyell Roseboro, held three open forums to discuss the current climate of diversity and inclusion at UNCW’s campus and how moving forward those things could improve. 

“The ideas shared will be integral to developing guiding principles to frame a strategic plan for diversity and inclusion,” wrote Dr. Roseboro in an email to students. 

Dr. Roseboro started off the forums by going through a set of questions she had prepared to get a better feel of how students felt about the current climate of UNCW in regard to diversity and inclusion.  

“I think that for the most part, a lot of the goals and things that we want to accomplish as an institution is very general,” said a UNCW junior. “So they are like they’re good, in principle, they’re good like general ideas, like their respect contract, all those are things that like generally speaking, everybody would want to have at our campus, but I feel like some of our initiatives lack metrics. So then they’re not always measurable. So then we’re like, oh, you know, they say we’re having this but sometimes we lack the metrics and measurable outcomes that would prove those things. So then we don’t actually see as much change maybe as we would hope or maybe we don’t see as much diversity and inclusion from like the student perspective because of that.”

Another UNCW student brought up the lack of diversity and being the only person of color (POC) in the classroom was very stratifying and upsetting to them. Especially in regard to lower-level general education courses that have a lot more students in them. 

Other concerns brought up included the lack of diversity at UNCW as a whole as apparent to white students, the lack of diversity represented on various clubs and programs pages, the number of microaggressions Black and POC have experienced on campus from students and faculty, how some Black and POC feel unsafe on campus going into the “very politically charged” election year, how UNCW handles reports of harassment and the lack of a bias reporting process, unlike other universities and the lack of funding for cultural and ethnic clubs and organizations on campus in comparison to non-cultural and non-ethnic clubs.  

Students also expressed a desire to get more help for UNCW’s Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion since their team of about 10 takes on a lot of work.

Dr. Roseboro also said that all the questions and concerns raised during these forums would be considered in UNCW’s diversity and inclusion plans. 

“I will try to make sure I regularly communicate with the campus so you know, especially students because you all are what makes this campus work,” said Dr. Roseboro. “We have no campus with no students. So if you don’t know anything today know this that I will always listen to you. And I will always invite your feedback, and we will always have to compromise. So, that’s the space in which I work, and we negotiate and we listen to each other. And I always want to know how to do this work better. So if you ever have a need, just email me and if I don’t respond, email me again I’m sorry. I get like 1000 emails because sometimes they stack and I miss them, but I will do my best.”