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Case Study Executive Summary


Recently, issues of diversity have surfaced at Mid-Size Private University, as evidenced by Troubling Tweets at MSPU. Past orientations have included diversity sessions, which must be modified. Our objectives for the new Diversity Discovered orientation session are to:

Positively showcase the diversity, talents, and differences of our population; Challenge negative statements on the "Troubling Tweets at MSPU website; Continue productive conversations surrounding diversity on campus.

We developed a campaign titled Diversity Discovered, which we hope will help facilitate conversation and change over time. Design The Diversity Discovered Campaign is a long-term initiative to encourage acceptance throughout campus, which will be introduced at Orientation. The Campaign will continue during the 2013-2014 academic year to increase support for students of color and improve the morale of our campus by educating our students about various forms of diversity. Our Orientation session will include a video that will directly address diversity issues and the Troubling Tweets at MSPU website by presenting student reactions to the offensive commentary. Following the video, staff will explain our campaigns vision and address the diversity issues on campus. We will introduce the Discovery Theater Troupe, a student organization that brings issues of diversity to an interactive stage. Student actors portray characters that represent stages of Hoopes Intercultural Learning Process. After the performances, audience members will be given the unique opportunity to ask the characters questions. Finally, the Orientation Leaders will facilitate breakout sessions where they will read statements about the campus and diversity, and students will choose their stance on the issue.

2 Discussion We decided to omit certain issues from our session because it is likely that many first year students are not developmentally ready to address these issues. For example, a student in the Dualistic position of Perry's theory might not believe that there are many correct answers to a controversial topic. We also eliminated the original video because we did not want to make light of a difficult situation or detract from our message because of the overt nature of the content. In order to educate our students in diversity, we need parental support and understanding of our mission, so we will hold a separate session at orientation for parents to address their concerns. Additionally, student activists may raise concerns, which we will address by emphasizing the importance of starting a long-term conversation about diversity. Theoretical/Developmental Framework Our initiatives have been informed by Hoopes theory of Intercultural Learning Process (Komives, Lucas, & McMahon, 2007) and Perrys theory of Intellectual and Ethical Development (Evans, Forney, Guido, Patton, & Renn, 2010). Hoopes theory outlines how individuals transition from an ethnocentric to a multicultural worldview (Komives, Lucas, & McMahon, 2007). By using Discovery Theater to portray stages in Hoopes theory, we believe that students will see where they fall developmentally and we will challenge them to view situations concerning diversity differently. Further, we have infused aspects of Perrys theory into the breakout sessions, which will promote students intellectual and cognitive development (Evans et al., 2010).

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3 References Clements, E. (2000). Creating a Campus Climate in Which Diversity Is Truly Valued. New Directions For Community Colleges, (112), 63. Evans, N.J., Forney, D. S., Guido, F. M., Patton, L. D., & Renn, K. A. (2010). Student development in college: Theory, research, and practice (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Komives, S. R., Lucas, N., & McMahon, T. R. (2007). Exploring leadership (Vol. 2). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Stages of intellectual development. Student staff learning outcomes: Connecting Theory to Practice. Retrieved from http://studentaffairs.stonybrook.edu/assessment/SELO%20Theories.pdf