Benedictine students are required to take hate and bias training this year, following last spring’s two racial incidents on campus. Some students are unsure, or do not believe, that faculty and staff have their own required hate and bias training.
“I think that [hate/bias training] shouldn’t just involve students, it should be faculty as well,” said Ezme Velazquez, a Benedictine student. “Those [racial] incidents could have created a gap in our relationship because they are supposed to be people we look up to.”
Last semester’s incidents of racial slurs came from faculty and staff, which lead to Benedictine creating a plan to address racial issues on campus; some BenU students are unsure if that plan addresses faculty and staff.
“The short answer is yes,” said Julie Dockery, the Associate Provost for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). “I have been here since April, and I know that faculty and staff had their own required training before they got here.”
Dockery mentioned their training similar to the hate and bias training that students are required to take; continuation of the student program is unknown at this time.
“We are currently working on that question,” said Elaine Davies, Director of Multicultural Student Affairs. “We may provide a refresher course or a more in-depth form of training to returning students; however, this still needs to be worked out.”
Some students believe that all members of the Benedictine community should take part in that plan.
“I think it’s an important thing for everybody to do because I think that some people may not know the biases they have,” said Benedictine student Jacob Pipowski.
“Right now, [implicit bias training] is not yearly [for faculty and staff],” said Dockery. “It wasn’t necessarily a one-and-done, meaning that you get the training, and then that’s it.”
Dockery mentioned that there was a council retreat in early October with some faculty and staff where they discussed DEI issues and how to address them over the coming years. Additional required training involved specific training that is created to teach faculty and staff from each college.
“Now what we do is still provide training but in different pockets to ensure that we get everybody,” said Dockery. “As long as we continue to offer training throughout the year we can get everybody but also in ways that are specific to what they do.”
“The hope is that shedding light on this information and individual’s experiences will help to create a culture in which there is no room for hate, bias, discrimination and racism,” said Dockery.