In response to recent attacks on various underrepresented groups -- both nationwide and closer to home -- the UMBS community gathered this summer for three camp-wide, open-attendance meetings to discuss inclusivity. The discussions, held by student request, addressed current events and focused on what the Station administration and various sub-communities can do to support each other during this period of increased tension surrounding race, gender, religion, sexuality and ability.
The conversations generated a list of suggestions for making the Station more welcoming for everyone, like encouraging faculty to address current events in their classes, holding diversity and equity workshops during the UMBS winter meetings, encouraging staff and faculty to ask for preferred pronouns upon meeting new students, developing campus-wide programs about sexual consent and setting up clear standards for open and safe communication. Having more discussions like these was also a goal moving forward.
Associate Director Karie Slavik said in an email following the first two meetings: “We encourage you to come to any member of the Biological Station staff, faculty or administration with concerns you may have about your experiences here. We aim to foster a culture that promotes equity and inclusions of camp residents from diverse backgrounds and life experiences.”
Despite the senseless and small-minded acts that continue to plague our communities, the Biological Station hears you, encourages you to voice solutions to problems that you see, and is trying to implement these solutions in our own community. Interim Director Linda Greer says, "Building on last summer's foundational discussions, we will keep working to move forward as a place that is accessible and comfortable to all."