A CAL Diversity Council Viewpoint
Advocating the interests of the student body to a group of faculty, staff, and administrators.
By Sophia Mathews
CAL Diversity Council Undergraduate Student Representative and CAL Student Council Representative
Senior / Political science major, history minor
I'm most looking forward to getting the action plan approved and ready to be implemented. For over a year, we've been analyzing data and taking real SDSU experiences into account in order to draft a college-wide statement on diversity and inclusion, but what matters most to me is "okay, so what are we going to do about it?"
San Diego State University is already ranked as one of the most diverse college campuses in the United States, and on top of that, the College of Arts and Letters holds the most extensive array of both student identities and fields of study. I really believe that the process by which we had to slow down and take the reality of our college make-up and sentiment into account, at an administrative level, is crucial to actively protecting and promoting what is in the best interest to us — the student body.
I've been working to spread the word about the statement in order to collect input. While I may be a student representative, I am completely aware that my own experiences can by no means translate to the culmination of an entire student body. I've really enjoyed having these open conversations and receiving feedback.
In all, I really want to stress how impressed I've been with how CAL's faculty, staff, and administrators have taken on their role in the council — even our newest Dean Casper has played a role! To be honest, I was nervous going into it, as I wasn't sure whether these individuals really had a choice or if they were simply "going through the motions," but I couldn't be more wrong. All members of the council were enthusiastic about attending seminars on microaggression and biases, or reading chapters upon chapters about systemic injustice. It was always clear to me that I was surrounded by individuals who truly wanted to set a precedent for CAL going forward.
I’m really excited to finalize the plan and begin moving forward! However, I do want to stress to students that this isn’t the end. Even when the plan is complete, conversations are still on the table. As both the CAL Council representative and member of the CAL Diversity Council, I really encourage students to reach out to me with any questions, concerns, or discussions that need to be had.
I also want to emphasize how much time we've put into looking at statistical data and real human responses. We were able to really grasp a holistic understanding of our college's climate and culture.