BY CHARLEI BAYLOR
Many student organizations have dived into discussion about diversity and inclusion this semester, leading up to and following Salisbury University President Janet Dudley-Esbach’s Town Hall meeting last month.
On Wednesday, the Philosophy Society invited students and faculty to discuss the topic: “What does it mean for a university to be inclusive?”
A turnout comprised of five faculty members and more than 15 students were led by Philosophy Professor Cristina Cammarano and English Professor James King.
The discussion began on the topic of faculty. From SU’s erection in 1925, the first professor of color was not hired until 1970, 46 years ago.
“On the student level, we’re making great strides,” King said. “On the faculty level, not so much.”
Though the university does hire people of color, “it’s more likely to see people that look like me in food service and custodial than [as faculty],” King said. “People seem to think African American faculty on campus are like unicorns.”
In efforts to eliminate “whitewashed curricula,” the community has to be aware of the campus climate, then do something about it, Cammarano said.
47 percent of SU’s faculty members claim that diversity is inclusion, yet only 17 percent include diversity topics in their curriculum, King said.
“No one has ever washed away issues without first having them,” Cammarano said.
Recently, students have been asked to step up and voice their concerns to promote the diversity they’ve been wanting.
“You need to know how to articulate [your concerns] and whom to deliver them to,” King said. “The institution should reflect the wants, needs, and wishes of the community and the community is comprised of students. If you believe, like I believe, that inclusion matters, you need to make that clear to the president and she’s listening.”