President's Task Force on Diversity & Inclusion - Meeting Notes

Tuesday, October 17, 2018
Meeting Time 1530-1700
Bay State Conference Room
Open Meeting

Taskforce Member Attendance:
Mirey Medina, Elizabeth Benway, Marissa Barros, Jill Taft, Kurt DeCicco, Emily Nguyen, Hannah Harm and Liz Novak.  

Admiral McDonald opened the meeting with opening remarks to include appreciation for the Taskforce member’s time dedication, how the concept of the Taskforce was a result of the Dr. Harold Cheatem report (available on the President’s web page), has a purposeful lack of a strict agenda that is meant for all campus constituents to have a forum to make suggestions and/or voice concerns.  
 

Standing Business:

  1. Need clarification on membership
    Clarification give: each campus community may submit greater than three representatives.
     

Old Business:

  1. Notes from last meeting reviewed.

  2. Taskforce as “clearing house” for multicultural events discussed.  After much discussion on the role of the Taskforce and alternative options for event planning, i.e. directly through Multicultural Affairs or Student Services, the Admiral directed the Taskforce to continue to serve as the venue for, both, local issues/events and to work with the Consortium.  
     

New Business:

  1. A working group was created, including Marissa Barros, Kurt DeCicco and Mirey Medina, to complete the “homework” for the upcoming Institute event.  

  2. Emily Nyugen proposed having a recruiting event that involved a group overnight stay to give students a real look of what an MMA cadet's life is like before admission.
     

Action Items:

  1. Benway to seek membership interest from MSC, APA and AFSCME.

  2. Medina to seek membership interest from regiment.
     

Next Meeting:

  1. Open meeting scheduled for Tuesday, October 30, 2018 at 3:30 p.m. in Bay State Conference Center.  


Tuesday, October 2, 2018
Meeting time 1530-1630
ABS 104
Closed organizational meeting

Taskforce Member Attendance:
Mirey Medina, Calvin Rookard, Marlene Clapp, Elizabeth Benway, Marissa Barros, Jill Taft, Kurt DeCicco, Emily Nguyen, Patrick Golden, Hannah Harm.  
 

Standing Business:

1. Need clarification on APA membership.
 

Old Business:

2. None.
 

New Business:

1. Reviewed the mission and purpose of the Taskforce.  

2. Showcased the Leading for Change Consortium website and introduced the new Institute of Racial Equity & Justice.   The commitment to the Institute’s monthly deliverables was discussed with many concerned over the required time commitment (3+ hours monthly).  An inventory of the Academy’s diversity dialogue and retention activities is due to the Institute by October 21st and will be the first order of business at the open meeting scheduled for October 16th.  The consensus was to create a hybrid version of the Institute’s curriculum.

3.For future data-driven decisions, discussion of MMA’s definition of race and what communities our data should encompass, e.g. follow IPEDS reporting definitions (hispanic/latino, white, black, asian, pacific islander, native american, mixed race) or more focused subset (hispanic/latino and black).  

4. A Pride Week support for rainbow lighting was presented; the Taskforce unanimously supported a light display in Bresnahan or another similar place, i.e. training ship, Flanagan Hall.    
 

Action Items:

1. Benway to seek clarification on APA membership and forward to Medina for consortium membership and website update.  

2. All members to read Dr. Shaun Harper’s article https://works.bepress.com/sharper/43/  

3. Benway to update Admiral McDonald on Pride Week lighting support request.  

4. Medina to update Taskforce website with Fall 2018 meeting schedule.  
 

Next Meeting:

1. Next meeting scheduled for Tuesday, October 16, 2018 at 3:30 p.m. in Bay State Conference Center.  


Thursday, September 27, 2018
Meeting time 1500-1600
American Pilot Conference Room
Organizational Meeting

Present: Elizabeth Benway, Mirey Medina, Marissa Barros, Kurt Decicco, Marlen Clapp, Jill Taft, Emily Nguyen, Hannah Harm, Calvin Rookard

Topics of Discussion:

1. Interest - Elizabeth Benway discussed how she reached out to the different campus communities to "reinvigorate the masses." she found quite a bit of interest fromt the APA union and is hoping to get more interest in the Task Force from other community members. Discussion ensued as to how many from each group should be a voting member of the Task Force. Elizabeth will discuss this issue with the President and get back to us.

2. Meeting schedule - The Task Force discussed possible set meeting days/times for the fall semester and what would be the most convenient for members. The Task Force agreed to holding meetings bi-weekly throughout the fall semester, with the meeting being held on a Tuesday at 3:30 so that professors would mostly be done with class time and able to attend. Meeting dates are set for 10/2, 10/16, 10/30, 11/13 and 11/27 unless circumstances deem that a date needs to be changed. Marlene Clapp asked if we would be following Bridgewater State University's Leading for Change Consortium Format for meetings. This will be discuseed at the next meeting. Mirey gave a brief history of how the Task Force came about, including how two diversity/inclusion groups joined to become one Task Force.

3. Upcoming summits/events - Mirey updated the Task Force on different events that will be coming up this year in regards to the BSU Consortium and a Racial Equity and Justice Institute that is part of the Consortium. The President has agreed to participate in this institute. Mirey will be sending out emails with information on all of the events and groups.

4. Informal Survey - Mirey discussed how she had sent out an e-mail last year asking all departments on campus what diversity and inclusion initiatives they have implemented to help support the Academy's mission. Mirey will be sharing the answers she received with the Task Force.

5. Diversity Events - It was noted that Pride Week at MMA will be celebrated October 15-19, 2018. There will be speakers, a movie night, a social, and puple ribbons/pride flagas given out during the week.

Meeting adjourned at 1600.


Wednesday, December 6, 2017
Meeting time 1600-1700
Patriot’s State Conference Room

Present Members: Zachary Scarpetti, Nathan Moreira, Alec Schenning, Victor Ramirez, Angelica Brewer, Timothy Chambers, Jalen Powell-Bartley, Enrico Picozza, Tyler Haynes,
Hudson Bickford, Stephen Kelleher, Edward Rozak, Calvin Rookards, Tom Lennon, Becky Norton, Josh Tefft, Marsh Arroyo, Carolyn Michaud, Stephen Kelleher (cadet), Mikayla Correia,
Samuel Theriault, and Michael Tenaglia.
 

Action Items

Action

Responsibe Parties

Date Due

Mirey Medina requests current diversity and inclusion initiatives from all MMA departments.

Department Chairs

27 Feb

ComCad reviews the use and process of the Application for Recognition as a Fourth Class Cadet

ComCad

27 Feb

Standing Business:

  1. Reviewed meeting format

  2. Reviewed member composition

  3. Reviewed agenda
     

Old Business:

  1. Vision / Goal Working Group: needs approval
  2. Campus Climate Survey: it is published online
     

New Business:

  1. Regimental Manual: questions on the application for recognition as a fourth class cadet were brought up. Upper class cadets were under the impression that the application
    was not being utilized as the Manual dictates. It was especially important because it addressed “zero tolerance.”  The cadets were firm on it being an important document, that
    if it is in the Regimental Manual, it would be used. If it will not be used, then remove it.
  2. Regimental Staff:  Commandant’s Office continues to emphasize the importance of a diverse and inclusive environment, integrating both into our processes and leadership.
    Diversity and inclusion create a respectful, inclusive environment, promoting critical thinking and enhancing the educational experience by exposing and challenging our regiment
    of cadets and our campus community to consider, the experiences and perspectives of others. Thus, the Commandant’s Office is looking for strategies to encourages eligible cadets
    from all backgrounds to seek out senior cadet leadership positions.
     

Next Meeting:

  1. Review departamental diversity initiatives
  2. Present decision on how and if the application for Recognition as a Fourth Class Cadet will be used.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Meeting time 1600-1700
ABS 104

Present Members: Edward Vacha, Elizabeth Novak, Jose Soivilien, Elizabeth Benway, Mirey Medina, Garin Veris, Marsha Arroyo, Linda Letourneau, Allison Parker.

*Unfortunately, we did not take participant attendance. We will ensure to mend this error at the next meeting.
 

Action Items

Action

Responsible Parties

Date Due

Forward Diversity Events Recommended to the Admiral for Approval

Mirey Medina to forward rec.
Admiral for decision

15 Nov

Forward Recommendation on turning single stall rest rooms on campus to be gender neutral

Mirey Medina to forward rec.
Admiral for decision

15 Nov

Forward President’s Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion’s Mission Statement Proposal to the Admiral

Mirey Medina to forward rec.
Admiral for decision

15 Nov

Vision/Goal Working Group. Additional supporting document be created to communicate the vision or goals of the Task Force and its Mission.

Francis McDonald, Jose Soivilien, Angelica Brewer
Kate Jones, Emily Nguyen

15 Nov

Working Group: Researching Best Practices on Diversity Events’ Approval Process

Steven Cullipher, Walter Zacharer, Elizabeth Novak.

15 Nov

Working Group: Researching Rest Room Policies in Massachusetts and Higher Education Institutions  

Kyle Sylvester, Kurt DeCicco, Linda Letourneau
Jose Soivilien. 

15 Nov

Standing Business:

  1. Reviewed meeting format

  2. Reviewed member composition

  3. Reviewed agenda
     

Old Business:

  1. Diversity Event recommendation: Mirey Medina was unable to send the recommendation from the previous meeting. Will group the Diversity Event recommendations with this meeting recommendation and send to the Admiral for a decision.

  2. Mission Statement Working Group: Presented working group’s final draft of MISSION STATEMENT: discussion included minor grammatical recommendations, “Academy” vs. university; Mirey will present to English department for proof-read.  Otherwise, approved for Admiral’s consideration.  

  3. Vision / Goal Working Group: still collaborating.

  4. Campus Climate Survey: results still being summarized for distribution.

  5. Recommendation Review: Cultural events approved from last meeting forwarded to Admiral.
     

New Business:

  1. Heterosexual event discussion: discussion included necessity of such outreach as not an issue of inclusivity, no proponents for event were present to make proposal.  No action.

  2. Task Force requirement to approve / endorse events: discussion included confusion over what campus-wide events channel through Taskforce and why others do not, was concern over Pride Week scrutiny?, funding questions, what do other institutions do (not necessarily maritime/military schools)?  Working group formed and consists of: Professor Steven Cullipher, Cadet Walter Zacharer and Ms. Elizabeth Novak.    

  3. Gender neutral restrooms: discussion included the fact that there is nothing prohibiting people from using the bathroom of their preference, is there a state law protecting this choice? Recommendation to re-label single stall bathrooms to be gender neutral.  Working group formed to research Bathroom Policy, to include Kyle Sylvester, Kurt DeCicco, Linda Letourneau, Jose Soivilien.  

  4. Jewish-themed day of celebration / education: discussion included identifying who would take charge of event, if the event occurred how would it be developed, the event could not be supported by Office of Inclusive Excellence & International Programming at this time (too busy).  No action.  Tabled for next meeting as it fit the larger question of whether this should be something that the Task Force makes a decision on.
     

Next Meeting:

  1. New voting consideration: yea, ney or abstain.  

  2. Working Group: Researching Best Practices on Diversity Events’ Approval Process

  3. Working Group: Researching Rest Room Policies in Massachusetts and Higher Education Institutions  


Wednesday, October 04, 2017
Meeting time 1600-1700
ABS 104

Present: Marissa Barrows, Kurt DeCicco, Mirey Medina, Kate Jones, Victor Ramirez, Angelica Brewer, Elizabeth Stevenson, Sara Kazamias, John Korn, Cindy Miller, Stephen Kelleher, Jr., Anne Marie Fallon, Cathy Kedski, Becky Norton, Joanne Robertson, Marsha Arroyo, Garin Veris, Jose Soivilien, Liz Benway, Liz Novak, Linda Letourneau, Edward Vacha, Mikayla Correia, Emily Nguyen, Ed Pinero, Alexander Zimmerman.

Action Items

Action

Responsible Parties

Due Dates

Forward Diversity Events Recommended to the Admiral for Approval

Mirey Medina to forward
Admiral for decision

18 Oct

Mission Statement Working Group: Include suggestions made by meeting participants to include use of best practices, data analysis, and enrichment.

Mirey Medina, Thomas Lennon, Calvin Rookard
Jose Soivillien, Mikayla Correia, Kurt DeCicco.

18 Oct

Vision/Goal Working Group. Additional supporting document be created to communicate the vision or goals of the Task Force and its Mission.

Francis McDonald, Jose Soivilien, Angelica Brewer
Kate Jones, Emily Nguyen

18 Oct

Topics for Discussion:

1.  Meeting format – Mirey Medina went over the procedures for bringing a proposal to the Task Force and how the meetings will be structured.

2.  Campus Climate – Marlene Clapp showed the Task Force and other meeting participants the results of the most recent campus climate survey that was done.  She started by explaining what the Diversity Consortium is and what the requirements are in order to be a part of that consortium. Marlene went on to discuss a few of the survey questions and the response from cadets.  Questions/discussion ensued in regards to the interpretation of certain questions on the survey and what MMA will do with the data. Mirey noted at the end of this discussion that the purpose of this presentation was to give only a summary of the survey.  Once the survey is dissected further she can send out the findings.  Once you get a chance to review the findings of the survey, the Task Force welcomes any ideas regarding solutions for areas MMA needs to improve based on survey results.

3.  Mission Statement – The Working Group for this was unable to meet due to scheduling issues.  

4.   Vision Goal – Emily Nguyen and Jose Soivilien spoke in representation of the Working Group for this topic.  The Working Group met with ADM McDonald.  The  President stated what his goals were and the group gave their own ideas.  A few ideas expressed were the following:

  1. Create a welcoming environment for all

  2. Embrace diversity in all of its forms

  3. Prepare and engage cadets

  4. Exude Inclusive Excellence

  5. Utilize all resources available to achieve these goals

  6. Academic curriculum should include multicultural courses/seminars.

  7. Review these goals periodically to ensure we are continuing to move forward.     

  8. Note: (Victor Ramirez requested to be added to this working group and was approved.)

5.    Diversity Events – The following events were recommended to have on campus and the opportunity to oppose was given

  1. Sept 15 to Oct 15 - Hispanic Latin Heritage month. No opposition and moved for approval.

  2. October – LGBTQIA History Month – Pride week – Previously recommended and approved.

  3. November – National Native American Heritage Month – No opposition and moved for approval

  4. November 13-17 – International Education Week- No opposition and moved for approval

  5.  January/February – Martin Luther King/Black History Month-No opposition and moved for approval. Since students are mostly away on sea term/co-ops/commercial ship it was brought up to perhaps move recognition of this to March when students are back.

  6. March- Women’s history/International Woman’s day-No opposition and moved for approval.

  7. March – St. Patrick’s Day- Already occurring

  8. April – Heritage Festival – Already occurring

  9. April – Earth Day – Question on how this is relevant to diversity/inclusion. Mirey explained that the earth is something every culture can come together for since it is important to all regardless of where you are from.   No opposition and moved for approval.

  10. May – Memorial Day – already recognized along with National Maritime Day.

A question arose as to whether Mirey has a budget to be able to accomplish these celebrations.  Mirey said she has a small budget but does her best to have quality celebrations that incorporate cost saving measures as well.  All are welcome to send an email to Mirey with any other suggestions for multicultural recognition/celebration events. Mirey noted that she alone may not be able implement suggested events and that if a team was formed then she would be able to support.  

6.   Admissions-Extending recruitment goals to inner city high schools

Joanne Robertson spoke in representation of Admissions.  She stated that they are already working with the John D. O’Bryant School for recruitment of inner city/disadvantaged youth.  She recently visited a magnet Maritime school in Connecticut that enrolls a diverse population. She noted that MMA is part of the Commonwealth Commitment program, which allows students who enroll at a community college to continue their education at a state university with specific financial/academic benefits given.  She believes this will also aid in the recruitment efforts of target populations.

Meeting adjourned at 5 pm.

Next meeting will be held at 1600 in the DM Bay State


Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Meeting time 1600-1700
ABS 104

Present: Elizabeth Benway, Emily Nguyen, Garin Veris, Edward Vacha, Liz Novak, Enrico Picozza, Louis Koll, Stephen Kelleher, Hannah Harm, Angelica Brewer, Hudson Bickford, Stephen Kelleher, Cynthia Miller, Edward Rozak, Sara Kazamias, Brian David Harwood, Marlene Clapp, Kyle Sylvester, Kevin Ghostlaw, Stephanie Hunt, Scott Ledoux, Mikayla Correia, Marsha Arroyo.

Action Items

Action

Responsible Parties

Due Date

Mission Statement Working Group: Include suggestions made by meeting participants to include the
use of best practices, data analysis, and enrichment.

Mirey Medina, Thomas Lennon, Calvin Rookard
Jose Soivillien, Mikayla Correia, Kurt DeCicco.

04 OCT 2017

Vision/Goal Working Group. Additional supporting document be created to communicate the vision or
goals of the Task Force and its Mission.

Francis McDonald, Jose Soivilien, Angelica Brewer
Kate Jones, Emily Nguyen

04 OCT 2017

Meeting Agenda:

  1. Task Force Mission Statement Working Group Proposal

    1. Decision was made to send the Mission Statement back to the Working Group to include suggestions made by meeting participants, such as including the use of best practices and data analysis, as well as enrichment.

    2. This Working Group also suggested an additional supporting document be created to communicate the vision or goals of the Task Force and its Mission.

    3. This suggestion was accepted and the Vision/Goal Working Group was formed

  2. Vision/Goal Working Group

    1. Composed of Fran McDonald, Jose Soivilien, Angelica Brewer, Kate Jones, Emily Nguyen

  3. Pride Week Events

    1. Pride Week Events were proposed as sole events. General consensus was to move it up as a recommendation to the Admiral as Pride Week since there were more than two events.

      1. Events presented and approved for recommendation are as follows:

        1. Table Day (outside Mess Deck):  Students, faculty and staff can pick up small pride flags to display, purple ribbons to stand for anti-bullying and Safe Harbor logo decals. Information of what Safe Harbor is and does.

    2. Drag queen Lecture. To include, what does a Drag Queen do, what is drag culture?

    3. Movie Night

      1. The Imitation Game

    4. Lecture

      1. Jessica Lynn on Transgender issues -The lecture would cover her transition, her sex change, and assorted issues both legal and ethical involving gender identity, as seen through her perspective as an intersectional advocate. Her style is an extremely open one, and she leaves no topic off-limits. Pivoting conversations on student questions and curiosities is the key to her Q&A series. To see more on Jessica Lynn please visit her website.

      2. Another option, if available and needed in case either of the above speakers unavailable is:
        Sarah Stowe - As Paul Stowe, Sarah served in the US Army in the 82nd Airborne Division and the Army National Guard. In 2016, She was the first prison guard to transition on the job at Old Colony Correctional Center in Bridgewater, a medium security prison for men.

    5. Pride week events not approved for recommendation:

      1. Drag Queen show in the Mess Deck or in Admirals Hall

  4. The Task Force was unable to discuss the following Agenda items due to the time limit

    1. Diversity Events

    2. Campus Climate results by Marlene Clapp

    3. Extending admission goals to inner-city high schools

    4. New item brought up for discussion in this meeting and moved to next meeting’s agenda due to time limit.

      1. Having an event for straight individuals

  5. Meeting adjourned at 1700 hrs.

    Next meeting will be October 4th, 2017 at 1600 hrs. in the Bay State Conference Room.


Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Meeting time 1600 - 1800
Constitution Conference Room ABS

Present: Daniel Mayer, Kyle Sylvester, Becky Norton, Edward Rodriguez, Andie Painten, Maikayla Correia, Jose Soivilien, Louis Koll, Kurt DeCicco, Scott Ledoux, Hannah Harm, Spencer King, Victor R. Ramirez, Enrico Picozza, Emily Nguyen, Mirey Medina, Kelly Demello, Hudson Bickford, Angelica Brewer, Calvin Rookard Jr., Garin Veris, Elizabeth Benway, Marissa Barros

Action Items

Action

Responsible Parties

Due Dates

1. Mission Statement Working Group to draft 2 or more statements to be voted on 20 Sept 2017.

Medina, Lennon, Rookard, Soivillien, Correia, DeCicco.

20 Sept 2017

2. Forward further information regarding Drag Show to members.

Medina

20 Sept 2017

3. Add comments/ideas to Pride Week Drive document. Brainstorm potential incentives for student participation in Pride Week events.

All interested

20 Sept 2017


Meeting Agenda:

  1. Introduction and welcome by ADM MacDonald. Call for steps forwards by MMA to reach out, give back and cultivate cultural competency in graduates.

  2. Introduction by all attendees, including designated Committee members and attending students/faculty.

  3. Medina proposes decision-making procedure of voting.

    1. None opposed.

    2. To prevent minority vote, meeting minutes shall include an alternative.

  4. Medina proposes Working Groups of several members for specific to-be-determined topics. Purposes are

    1. to prepare research and

    2. propose resolutions to action items

    3. to occur outside meetings to maximize group time.

      1. None opposed to creation of Working Groups

  5. Potential Groups: Organization and Procedures, Community Engagement, Admissions outreach/Enrollment, etc.

  6. Mission Statement Working Group to draft 2+ statements before next meeting.

    1. Medina, Lennon, Rookard, Correia, Soivillien and DeCicco.

  7. Several attendees: Equal voice across class and employment positions stressed to preserve inclusive and productive nature of task force.

  8. Soivillien: extend admissions goals to inner-city high schools.

    1. To be addressed by future Working Group.

  9. Proposal of Organization and Procedure Working Group to

    1. create hierarchy (if any),

    2. construct procedures for meeting agenda, matters of business, working groups, etc

      1. Tabled until next meeting.

  10. Review of Pride Week Events proposed to promote education and inclusion of LGBTQIA community.

    1. Schedules and To Do Lists distributed to all.

    2. Events still in planning stages; few things finalized.

    3. To be promoted via TV screens, posters, displays.

    4. Lead by Cullipher, Medina, Harm, and Koll.

      1. Request for more information regarding Drag Show.

      2. Brainstorm additional incentives for student participation in Pride Week.

      3. Information will be posted on a GoogleDrive folder where members shall add comments/ideas.
         

Metting adjourned at 1800 due to time constraints.