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FSU Conducts a Poll on Campus Regarding Diversity and Equity

In efforts to improve campus life at Florida State University when it comes to diversity and equity, FSU collaborated with the Higher Education Data Sharing Consortium

In efforts to improve campus life at Florida State University when it comes to diversity and equity, FSU collaborated with the Higher Education Data Sharing Consortium (HEDS) to conduct the HEDS Diversity and Equity Campus Climate Survey.

FSU President Richard McCullough sent the initial invite via email on Nov. 1 for individuals on campus to participate in the survey. The email was followed by a series of weekly reminders, excluding the Thanksgiving Day Holiday week.

“To support our ongoing work in equity, diversity and inclusion, we would like to know more about how students, faculty, staff and administrators perceive FSU’s climate and level of support for equity and diversity,” McCullough wrote. “We would also like to know whether and how often campus members have experienced discrimination or harassment.”

The President’s Task Force on Anti-Racism, Equity and Inclusion recommended that FSU administer a campus climate survey to help set and evaluate progress on the university’s equity, diversity and inclusion goals, according to Dr. James Hunt. Hunt is the director of FSU’s Institutional Research and is also the FSU leader of the survey effort.

“Then-President Thrasher adopted that recommendation earlier this year,” Hunt said. “President McCullough is continuing that commitment to build a more inclusive campus environment.”

The university defines diversity as the differences among people in their race, ethnicity, culture, nationality, gender identity, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, socioeconomic status, disability status and political perspective. Equity is defined as the commitment of challenging and responding to bias, harassment and discrimination against individuals with different backgrounds and identities.

Wayn’Nyria Johnson is a third-year student at FSU majoring in social work and is also in the Center for Academic Retention and Enhancement (CARE) program. She shared her thoughts on diversity and equity at FSU.

“I think the portrayal of diversity and equity on campus is false,” said Johnson. “FSU loves to promote diversity and use numbers to falsify the reality that there is racial discrimination and lack of support for minorities. I think that the Black community is strong enough on campus to support itself; however, other communities get discriminated against as well.”

Johnson also mentioned that although she notices some diversity among the university’s faculty and staff, she hasn’t seen much change on the student level during her time at FSU. She touched on how she wants to see more diversity and equity on campus.

“I want to see more accountability for students who discriminate,” Johnson said. “I want to see CARE students being recognized for more than just being Black.”

According to McCullough, the results of the survey will be used to inform and improve support, policies and practices at FSU.

While students are encouraged to complete the survey, McCullough also assures them that the information they provide will be completely anonymous. Any personal name or accused individual’s name that is identified in the survey will be removed before the survey administrators receive the data.

Although students are asked to leave names out when completing the survey, they are encouraged to report incidents of discrimination and harassment to the university through the report.fsu.edu website.

The message sent on Nov. 29 was the final reminder for campus individuals to complete the survey. According to Hunt, the survey is open through Sunday, Dec. 5 and may or may not stay open beyond that date. The Office of Institutional Research will be posting reports and dashboards of the survey results on the Institutional Research website.

“We anticipate receiving initial survey results during the Spring 2022 semester and will be sharing the results as they become available,” Hunt said. “President McCullough as well as the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Human Resources and the Division of Student Affairs will be collaborating with students, faculty and staff to study the survey results and set action plans to move forward.”

Interested individuals can access the survey using the link provided in the emails they received. It is estimated to take about 10 to 15 minutes to complete. Questions about this survey can be addressed to Hunt or Nicole Seidler, Research Analyst and Data Manager at HEDS.

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Rajesh Tamada