Through the Equity Advocacy Initiative, UTSA will develop an overarching framework for implementing the recommendations put forth by the 21st Century Learning Environments Task Group to foster healthy and inclusive learning environments. The initiative will formally connect those efforts to the work of tactical teams on degree pathways and higher education access as a part of our fundamental commitment to diversity, inclusion and the success of UTSA students.
In support of the initiative, UTSA’s colleges and academic support divisions will develop new and enhance existing activities to advance diversity, inclusion and justice.
Focused Equity Advocacy Initiatives in Student Affairs
Student Affairs Leadership Team
- Student Affairs facilitated discussion on microaggressions with department leadership.
- Leadership Team meetings include regular readings and discussions. Currently, the team is reading “Ebony and Ivy: Race, Slavery and the Troubled History’s of American Universities” by Craig Steven Wilder.
Multicultural Student Center for Equity and Justice
- To facilitate additional programming and prioritization of equity focused efforts, Student Affairs reorganized operations and mission of Intercultural Programs and Student Engagement to create the Multicultural Student Center for Equity and Justice (MSCEJ) and added an additional staff member.
- Several new programs and training emerged from the reorganization including:
- UTSA Racial Justice Book Club in partnership with UTSA Libraries and Inclusive Excellence.
- Equity Peer Facilitator program where student employee lead equity and social justice trainings and workshops for students.
- Created and implemented a new campus-wide microaggressions awareness training sessions with Inclusive Excellence. The training entitled Understanding and Challenging Microagressions is available on the UTSA MyTraining site as SD0437.
- Existing programs were highlighted including:
- Structured Dialogue Series
Structured dialogues are an opportunity to have a small group discussion in a format that allows for experiences to be shared and everyone to be heard.
- GLBTQ Ally training and Advanced Ally training
- Heritage Months
- Structured Dialogue Series
Dreamers Resource Center
- Dreamer ALLY Training is provided for interested students, staff, and faculty. The training provides an overview of the federal and state policies that impact the lives of Dreamers, students of mixed-status families, refugees, asylum-seekers, and individuals who have Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
- Dreamer Success Workshops are a partnership with UTSA support areas to increase knowledge on how to navigate college successfully by addressing topics unique to the academic, professional, and mental health needs of Dreamers.
- Know Your Rights Training is offered for students, staff, and faculty. The primary purpose of training is to familiarize individuals with students’ legal rights both on-campus and off-campus.
- Dreamer Pláticas provide a time for students to engage in informal group discussions.
Counseling and Mental Health Services
- Hosts a Healing Racial Trauma support group each Thursday. This group focuses on healing the psychological and emotional impact of racial violence.
- Student organizations are classified by category and provide students with a wealth of cultural organizations to explore.
- Provides leadership opportunities within the Multicultural Greek Council and National Pan-Hellenic Council to highlight fraternities and sororities representing social identities.
- Transitioned Fiesta UTSA to Dia en la Sombrilla informed by student organization advocacy.
Leadership and Volunteer Services
- Facilitates the Civil Rights and Social Justice Experience
- Participates and collaborates on facilitating UTSA participation in the San Antonio MLK March and Cesar Chavez March
Student Assistance Services
- Provides advocacy for students experiencing challenges with the university environment
Student Conduct and Community Standards
- Facilitates adjudication of violations of the Student Code of Conduct through a developmental discipline process entitle the E.P.I.C. Journey Sanctioning Model. The approach includes educational and active sanctions, mentorship experiences and learning tools.