Administrative Office Hours Promote Open Discussion

Lianna Brown ’22 , Associate News Editor

Administrators are holding open hours to promote discussion and inclusivity following recent incidents surrounding race including Ku Klux Klan flyers handed out in Carlisle, flyers posted on cars describing alleged sexual predators and backlash to a recent opinion article titled “Should White Boys Still Be Allowed to Talk?” printed in The Dickinonian. The open hours took a small-scale approach to discussion because “big events serve a purpose sometimes, but not always… and to send a message to the community and to students that we do want to talk to them and hear them,” said Brenda Bretz, vice president for institutional effectiveness and inclusivity, who helped host an open hours group on Feb. 18. 

George Stroud, vice president for student life and dean of students, has been meeting with students, faculty and staff to talk about inclusivity. “I have found those [meetings] to be the time in which I can really hear from the students, exactly what those issues are and they can hear me as well,” he said.Bretz said “We’ve heard from students that there is a lack of trust and transparency, but at the very least, we are and we want to talk and we want to share and we want to collaborate and we have many mechanisms for that,” she said. 

Stroud said he wants to take “…all of these ideas and figure out what is going to work best for this place in this situation and try and figure it out together and so those next steps.” Bretz said she is working on a “inclusivity strategic plan… which we will have done before the end of the semester, which will have concrete actions of achieving our goals,” she said.

In a Feb. 15 email, Bretz announced upcoming events: “More Than Words: A Community Conversation About the Challenges and Possibilities of Language” on Wednesday, Feb. 20 from 6-7 p.m. and Monday, Feb. 25 from 12-1:30 p.m.; open office hours on Monday, Feb. 18 from 1:30-2:30 p.m. and Thursday, Feb. 21 from 12-1 p.m. Other events include “Values & Visions: An Opportunity for Communal Dialogue” for faculty on Friday, March 22 from 3-5 p.m. and for staff on Wednesday, March 27 from 9-11 a.m.