Faculty Meeting News and Notes: September 15, 2022

By Katie Oglesby, Editor-in-Chief

Saturday, Sept. 10 Physical Assault Discussion

President Bob Iuliano began Thursday’s faculty meeting with a discussion of the events that transpired over the previous weekend, focusing on the physical assault that occurred near Diaspora House, and the student and faculty reaction to it.

He expressed that students were experiencing confusion and hearing misinformation about what happened. 

He explained what facts he understood to be true:

  • The assault occurred in the hours between Friday night and Saturday morning.
  • Members of the town were present at an event at Latinx House; these individuals were around the same age as the college students.
  • The altercation was related to what happened at the Latinx House event and not a random encounter, from his understanding.
  • As far as he knows, it was not a bias incident.
  • Campus Safety used a taser on one of the non-students involved.
  • Gettysburg Police, Campus Safety, Executive Director of Campus Safety Alex Wiltz and a member of College Life were present after it happened.
  • Four members of town involved have been identified, charges are pending against them, and they are banned from campus.
  • College Life personnel are working with the involved students that live in Latinx House and Diaspora House.
  • College Life asked the affected students if they would want the College to pay for enhanced police presence and they agreed.

Iuliano said he doesn’t believe the situations where a car is driving around campus yelling obscenities and making racist comments to Black students is related to the physical assault on Sept. 10.

He said that while there was pushback against how late information was dispelled from the College about the situation, it is difficult for them to meet the want for timely information. In the first few hours, he said, they don’t often have a complete understanding of the facts, and wouldn’t want to make the situation worse by communicating false information. He said there are also legal limitations to what can be shared early on in an investigation.

Faculty were also invited to provide their opinion on the College’s handling of the situation. 

Chairperson of Africana Studies and Associate Professor of History Scott Hancock asked that Campus Safety be open temporarily past 5 p.m., following reports of some student calls going to voicemail after that time.

He also expressed that while Iuliano thanked College Life for being on the “front lines,” students were actually on the front lines. He said that while they may not know if the physical assault was a bias incident, students see it, combined with the car circling the area, as “one episode of being terrorized.”

Assistant Professor of Africana Studies Tyesha Redden said she has talked to many students impacted, and said that targeting of Black students on campus has not been contained to the past few weeks. 

She said the College is missing Black counselors in the Counseling and Wellness Center, and is missing Black administrators, such as the previous Interim Director of the Office of Multicultural Engagement Monique Gore and the previous Associate Director of the Office of Student Activities and Greek Life Caitlin Lindsay. 

“…We can’t keep Black admin on staff here,” she said. 

Student Senate President Miranda Zamora, one of the two student representatives that attends faculty meetings, spoke about the lack of information she and Student Senate were given to help students affected.

Curriculum Proposal

The conversation shifted to the curriculum proposal put forth by Spanish professor Beatriz Trigo and Associate Provost for Academic Assessment and Dean of Natural Sciences, Computer Science, and Mathematics Darren Glass. 

They gave an overview of the proposed changes for new and returning faculty who may have missed the discussions in the last year. 

The proposed curriculum includes:

  • Modes of Inquiry
    • Arts (1)
    • Humanities (1)
    • Formal Science (1)
    • Natural Science (lab) (1)
    • Social Science (1)
  • Perspectives and Social Change
    • Identities and Cultures (1)
    • Race, Power, and Equity (1)
    • Languages (2)
  • Seminars
    • FYS Writing (1)
    • FYS Data (1)
    • Communities and Change (sophomore year) (.5)
    • Senior Culmination (senior year) (.5)

Trigo and Glass discussed the poll they had previously done to determine the interests of faculty to teach the courses that would fulfill these new requirements. 

Much of the conversation was guided around the changes to the first-year seminar program.

English professor Melissa Forbes explained that all first-year seminars, under this model, would cover the first-year writing requirement, and students would no longer be able to test out of it. 

Glass explained the theories behind the addition of a required first-year seminar focusing on data and society to prepare first-year students for data-based arguments they will face later in their college career.

Faculty were given the opportunity to speak on the changes to the first-year seminar program. Largely, departments expressed concern over changes to hiring and staffing that this might require. Chair of the English Department Kathryn Rhett asked for oversight of the first-year writing requirement to stay under the English department. 

English professor Chris Fee brought up an issue of staffing within the English department, saying that they were often short as it is to fill teaching positions for first-year writing courses, and this program change would require more professors than used already.

Staffing issues were echoed among other professors as well. 

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Author: Katie Oglesby

Katie Oglesby ‘23 serves as the Editor-in-Chief for the Gettysburgian. She has previously served as Magazine Editor, News Editor, Assistant News Editor, and Staff Writer. She is an English with a writing concentration and political science major, hailing from San Diego, California, but now living in rural North Carolina. On campus, Katie works at the CUB information desk, is an Eisenhower Institute Fielding Fellow, and serves as secretary for the service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega. She spent a semester abroad in Bath, England studying British literature and politics, and spent this past summer interning with the Winston-Salem Journal in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She can usually be found perusing books in the Musselman Library browsing room.

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