The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

District diversity survey rewards participation with incentives

By Karen Gavis/managing editor

As part of a districtwide diversity initiative, TCC students and employees were sent surveys via myTCC Nov. 27. And a drawing with prizes such as gift cards, preferred parking spots and lunch with campus presidents will be given away as participation incentives.

The survey will be open until Dec. 7 and is part of an assessment that will lead to a strategic plan for diversity, said Shani Moore, director of institutional diversity and inclusion.

“The plan will include initiatives for students and employees to increase their cultural competence, self-awareness and understanding and acceptance around issues of diversity and inclusion,” she said.

The anonymous survey only asks demographic information that will help determine campus/district climate and future initiatives, Moore said. It is also all-inclusive and does not merely represent the traditionally underrepresented.

Moore said TCC’s goal is “to create and maintain an inclusive learning environment in which all students, faculty and staff feel respected and valued.”

The college’s approach to diversity supports the coinciding influence of identifiers such as gender, race, ethnicity, religion, age, ability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, linguistic heritage and veteran status, Moore said.

Survey questions were fine-tuned by a diverse group consisting of TCC faculty, staff, students and administrators.

South Campus student development associate Robin Rhyand said she was part of the group and helped review questions to make sure they were presented in a manner that would not offend anyone.

“We pretty much went through it word by word and question by question,” she said.

Growth is experienced through change, Rhyand said, and TCC prides itself on diversity.

“I think people are going to have a greater appreciation for the differences between us that actually unite us,” she said.

SE student Kym Buenconsejo, an Army veteran who is also an immigrant from the Philippines, also helped tweak the questions. The diversity and inclusion plan is not only about race, Buenconsejo said, but also about political, religious and family affairs.

“I was part of the team, the counsel team that had input on the survey,” she said.

The team wanted to make sure the questions were clear, and the task was actually kind of fun, Buenconsejo said. She thinks the plan will be helpful.

“You’d be surprised at the kind of comments people make that are not knowledgeable or do not know how to approach someone who is different from them,” she said based on observations she has made at her job.

Moore said diversity councils will be established on each campus to address the initiatives identified by the assessment, and South Campus president Peter Jordan already has a council in place.

“Myself and Gary Montano are co-chairs of the council,” said South Campus graphic services coordinator Monica Lea. “We are just getting it established.”

The creation of a report and diversity plan based on data collected is scheduled for March 2013.

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