Reactions to the Campus Climate Survey: Policy Considerations for Multicultural Students at Sewanee
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SubjectUniversity of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee; Scholarship Sewanee 2011; Undergraduate research; Diversity; Multiculturalism; Campus climate; Institutional research
AbstractThis study sought to explore and assess multicultural students' academic, social and personal experiences at the University of the South. The researchers conducted individual interviews with a standardized set of questions. Participants were briefed with the results of a recent campus climate survey and interviewed about related issues such as witnessing and/or experiencing racial discrimination or harassment, academic expectations, social expectations, overall content level with their college experience, and what changes they would like to see implemented. Participants in the study were multicultural students ranging from freshmen to seniors at the University of the South. Tentative yet recurring themes included the conflict between a highly positive academic experience and an unsatisfactory social life, issues of academic and social opportunities and support for diverse students on campus compared to the mainstream and dominant culture, experiences of insensitivity in and outside of the classroom, lack of diversity in faculty and staff, and concerns regarding retention of multicultural students over four years of education. Using the thematic data collected, suggestion for policy changes and implementation are offered.
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