Winter Term created to plan day of inclusion

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Students and faculty gathered in Watson Forum in the Pulliam Center for Contemporary Media Monday to discuss the day of inclusion for next semester. A Winter Term course that will tentatively be offered to students who are interested in participating in the planning process was also on the docket. 

Among the faculty and staff who spoke at the discussion are: Christopher Wells, the vice president of student life; Renee Madison, senior advisor to the president on diversity and compliance; Carrie Klaus, dean of faculty; and Vince Greer, director of multicultural student services. Because it was created later than other Winter Terms, students will be allowed to switch courses after the last day to drop Winter Term classes.

“It’s very clear to me that we need to have students involved in the process of planning for the proposed day of conversation about inclusiveness on campus,” Wells said.

Wells said students felt burdened by the idea of needing to educate others and plan a major event on top of their curriculum. The Winter Term course will be a way to receive academic credit for helping with the event. 

Wells hopes to have no more than 20 students. If it were any larger, he thinks it would be difficult to have a productive conversation without splitting into separate groups. 

Students in attendance were largely enthusiastic about the idea of a Winter Term course to plan the day.

“I think it’s probably one of the best ideas they’ve had so far,” said senior Ryan Pranger, DePauw student government vice president for student life. “So I think that this, giving it something that’s credit from the university, that allows students to help out and give their input is probably the best solution to the problem [of students feeling overburdened by the planning].”