On the morning of Friday, Nov. 2, students gathered in Wyse 108B to attend the first Intercultural Coalition of Goshen College (ICGC) meeting of the year.
ICGC began last spring as a group seeking to address the gaps on campus regarding diversity policies and to develop resolutions to reform campus. The leaders this year are sophomores Mariane Grace and Katija Norton and junior Elijah Lora.
According to Norton, ICGC wants to be the “bridge between students and administration by relaying information to both sides.”
Last year, ICGC highlighted the issues brought to the coalition by the students and then worked on how to address them. Friday’s meeting gathered feedback from students ahead of another meeting between ICGC leaders and administration to discuss next steps.
ICGC has already been hard at work implementing changes this school year. One of these was having Anti-Racism Training for all student-athletes on Nov. 4. The goal is to have all students, professors and faculty participate in training.
Another change was one that occurred over the summer: the rearranging of offices and creation of new spaces on campus. One example of a new space is the Multicultural Center, located on the first floor of Wyse, next to the Career Center.
A new group called the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force is led by co-chairs Beth Martin Birky and Dominique Burgunder-Johnson. It consists of 13 members including students, staff and faculty from different areas of campus. This task force focuses on communicating, identifying and proposing ways to improve inclusiveness on campus.
ICGC realizes that they will not be able to perfect campus right away.
“It is important to notice that this coalition is all about trial and error,” said Grace.
ICGC will keep reviewing changes that have been made and see what ways they can be improved.
ICGC is looking for students who are willing to speak about their experiences here as students at Goshen College, and they encourage all students to bring their issues to the administration.
Lora said that he appreciates the way the administration is willing to work with ICGC and make changes to better the college and the student’s experience.
“Nobody is forcing the administration to do anything, but they decided to actually try to make changes to make campus better for students of color which is amazing to see,” Lora said.
If students see a problem and feel inspired to do something about it, ICGC leaders encourage them to speak out.
“We’re here to stay and continue to make the changes that need to happen,” Norton said. “Not just talking about it, but instead acting on them.”