A new Clemson initiative to coordinate campus climate improvement programs is bringing together organizations across campus to make Clemson as inclusive as possible. Spearheaded by Clemson Professor Melissa Vogel, this effort intends to raise awareness and educate the Clemson community on diversity and inclusion programs, efforts and resources.
By Alexa Emerson, Class of 2017
Many campus clubs and organizations offer services and programs to support an inclusive campus environment. But you don’t hear about them because there’s no central coordination.
Enter Melissa Vogel, an associate professor of anthropology in the College of Business and Behavioral Science. Vogel did what no one has done so far. She brought the organizations together.
The associate professor created what she calls Campus Climate Coordination, an initiative to organize campus inclusiveness efforts. Vogel thinks Clemson is at a pivotal point in enhancing diverse and inclusive campus climate. This program aims to take advantage of this transitional movement and consequently make Clemson a more diverse and inclusive community. And that’s exactly what the organizations taking part in this coordination effort strive to do.
As one of several efforts spurred from the Faculty Leadership Development program, Vogel organized a meeting of student, staff and faculty groups so that each group could share its upcoming events. The goal is to create a centralized space where everyone can easily access information about events that offer diversity and inclusion programming. These events range from entertainment and speakers to workshops and training. And what better place to do that then in the university calendar. By consolidating events in the calendar, organizations can avoid double-booking and can even form partnerships to collaborate or cross-promote events.
Currently, there are more than 45 organizations involved with Campus Climate Coordination, and those numbers may grow. For Vogel, it is encouraging that so many people are willing to devote their time and energy to such an important issue.
“Diversity is something that is relevant to everyone,” she said. “There are so many people at Clemson who care enough about this issue to make a difference. They believe there is a need to redefine the Clemson family.” This opportunity, said Vogel, must be taken to centralize efforts and work toward changing the way everyone thinks about diversity and campus inclusiveness.
While Vogel’s meeting took place in the fall semester, the associate professor believes that the dialogue should continue. She’s already thinking about hosting another meeting in the spring.
Campus Climate Coordination is a long-term initiative and is now linked to efforts from the Provost’s office. Anyone can get involved by submitting their diversity and inclusion events to the university calendar and using the “Diversity and Inclusion” tag when entering the event.
To read more about diversity and inclusion at Clemson, click here.