Professor Torres’s class Imagine A Just World Through Action is a new class this semester. The class focuses on interrogates contemporary problems of social justice and teaches students practical techniques on how to engage with social justice issues. As part of the class students had to complete a practical components where they engaged in practicing social justice and making change.
You can see more about the student’s taking action at this link: The Soundtracks of Action
To learn more about each student groups project continue reading!
The class was split up into into six groups, tasked with coming up with an issue to focus and an action plan connected to an aspect of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. The issue and action plan on an aspect of diversity, equity, inclusion and belong was to be designed for students and by students. The students in the class chose to focused on issues effecting, first generation students, low income students, LGBTQ+ identifying students and students of color. The student groups conducted research and then from their research came up with actionable steps and/or plan to implement at Wheaton College. The title of each group’s project and a short description follows.
Influencing Change: Amplifying Student Voices to Create Streamlined Processes for Institutional Accountability and Action
Catherine Hubbard, Anna Fairbairn, MaryAnna Sansone, Hannah Schofield, and Tatianna Staszkow
This study examines the institutional policies currently in place at Wheaton College to create avenues that students can use to directly affect administrative change. The methods explored in this study include a review of existing literature of past studies at Wheaton College and similar institutions.The members of this group conducted two informal interviews with presidents of theme houses on campus. This group recommended a Living and Learning Community on Wheaton’s campus that is for student activists and students who would like to be better activists.
Rather Dead Than Co-Ed: How To Keep the Legacy of a Woman’s College Alive.
Hanna Abernethy, Alexandria Mason, Ansuya Pandey, Allie Roth, and Yanasia Tarr
When asked, students are usually unaware that Wheaton College was originally a female seminary. However, in 1988, Wheaton made the transition to a co-educational institution. In order to investigate the knowledge surrounding the co-educational history of Wheaton College, we conducted interviews with students and alumni. These interviews gave us insight into how people perceive a co-educational college.
How Can Dialogue Facilitation Move the Wheaton College Community Toward Equity and Inclusivity?
Sinead Garvey, Delia MacLaughlin, Danielle McConnell, Brooke Musial, and Michael Oliveira
This study addresses the need for constructive dialogue through measuring community members’ willingness to engage in such conversations surrounding identity and power structures, as well as their knowledge of availability and accessibility of these existing dialogues. The methodology involved hosting a focus groups with students from various groups and identities. From the focus groups we found that students were not as aware of the cultural center and didn’t know where to go for dialogue and resources to learn tools to have these conversations on campus. We were able to present this info and draft recommendation to the Marshall center in ways to get students more involved with dialogue and the center on campus.
Clothing Closet: Recognizing the Need for Low-Income Student Support
Sophie Garland-Doré, Erin Bowes, Jojo Mitchell, William Gan, and Abby Rogers
This ethnographic study investigates the best methods of supporting first-generation and low-income students in need of professional attire, textbooks or anything else there may be a lack of at Wheaton College Massachusetts. We will accomplish this through focus groups, one-on-one interviews with students and faculty, discussions with first-gen and other relevant theme house residents, and general observations. Research is needed in this area because there is an increasing population of first-generation and low-income students who are pursuing higher education without the necessary foundations of support to navigate and understand the imposed stresses/barriers secondary education presents.
Making Wheaton More LGBTQ+ Inclusive
Mikaela Savarese, Emily Edds, Carol Teran, Mia Murray and Sofia Reck
The goal of this project is to better understand and correct the misconceptions about the LGBTQ+ community and to highlight all the identities that exist on campus. To do so this project focuses on conducting interviews with students to gather the thoughts of Wheaton’s community to examine LGBTQ+ identifying students’ experiences at Wheaton. This group conducted interviews with students and made a questionnaire available to Wheaton community for students to fill out at their own leisure.
The Influence of Racial Bias Incidents at Wheaton College
Catherine Le, Mackenzie Hubbard, Emma Flesher, Mosi Bullers-Shah and Ashanti Ferris
This project examined the impact Wheaton College’s response to racial bias incidents has on the student body. To conduct our research we sent out a survey to current Wheaton students and recent alumni to take the temperature of Wheaton’s student body. And conducted 13 interviews with current students and recent alumnus. We asked how incidents of racial bias affected students and their experience at Wheaton College. From the interviews we found that many students were feeling frustrated and had recommendations they would make to make the process of addressing racial bias incidents.