ROCKET: What is your response to the celebration for the 100 years of women?
Gloria Cruz Olea: William & Mary’s Celebration 100 Years of Women successfully commemorates the importance of coeducation in Higher Education. However, I feel as though the year-long celebration itself lacks showcasing the powerful and influential Women of Color who have attended the College. By showcasing the array of successful and impactful alumni of all backgrounds is the theme that a year-long celebration of co-education should aim to feature.
R: What measures can William & Mary take to make campus a more inclusive community for POC, especially WOC?
GCO: I believe that one of the many ways William & Mary can make a campus a more inclusive community for POC, but especially WOC is by hiring more faculty of color across all departments. I feel as though a majority of my courses taught in my 5 semesters at William & Mary have been taught by white, male identifying individuals; if a course was taught by a female identifying individual they were not a women of color.
R: Any additional thoughts/comments you want us to know?
GCO: I recently learned about the Psychology Department’s Diversity Committee through a close friend of mind. The Diversity Committee consisted of other Psychology Faculty, and recently added Graduate and Undergraduate students to get involved. The committee sent out a climate survey on student’s thoughts on they feel included/not included within the classroom. They also make sure they are fully embracing their Diversity Statement and hiring more faculty of color. Another important facet of the committee is they are providing the resources to students that they can report incidents when they feel uncomfortable or not included because of their background. They are also teaching faculty how to be more inclusive in a classroom setting.