Discussing TU diversity progress

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By: Carley Milligan, Editor-in-Chief

Since stepping into her position in January, Towson President Kim Schatzel has been quite busy.

We have followed her journey via Twitter and watched as she began to navigate the various organizations and subsets of our university. We have seen selfie after selfie, and a mounting collection of articles and mentions of her working and advocating for Towson in Annapolis.

She’s become a familiar face around campus and I have to say that it has been incredibly encouraging to see how focused she is on student interaction, and dedicated to attending student events. Schatzel is fun and friendly, but I’ve also noticed that she isn’t afraid to confront things head on. As we’ve heard her say before, she has no fears and welcomes the challenges ahead of her. And I appreciate and respect that attitude particularly as a woman in a highly scrutinized position of power.

In her first vlog, released March 9, Schatzel addressed a few of these “big topics” that she has encountered in the six weeks since starting her new position. She spoke about the allocation of funds for the new science building, the town hall meetings she has taken part in that have helped her set priorities for moving forward, the initiatives and connections Towson University has to Baltimore City and County, and the philanthropy efforts of the students, faculty and staff here.

She also touched, briefly, on her firm belief that “an inclusive campus and classroom are prerequisites and requirements for a high quality university education.” Diversity and inclusion are subjects Schatzel has not strayed away from mentioning in other interviews, and most recently in her open response last week to Towerlight columnist Sey Elemo, who called for a Towson to be openly anti-racist in her column prior to spring break.

She again addressed her commitment to diversity and inclusion in her second vlog, relased yesterday.

President Schatzel has also previously stated that she trusts the decision that then-Interim President Timothy Chandler made in signing the list of demands presented by the student activists who led the #OccupyTowson movement last November.

I applaud her for these positive responses to what is truly an issue larger than Towson itself. However, what I – and I think other students as well – have been waiting for is specific and direct mentions of how exactly the University will be supporting the growth of diversity and inclusion on Towson’s campus and classrooms.

This is why I am excited to announce that this upcoming Monday morning, The Towerlight will be meeting with Provost Timothy Chandler and Vice President of Student Affairs Deb Moriarty to receive an update on the progress of the diversity and inclusiveness initiatives that began following the sit-in in November.

I am looking forward to this opportunity to meet and discuss the progress that has been made, what is still to come, and hopefully get some very deliberate projections, plans, or policies in print. We would like to extend the invitation to students, faculty, staff and other concerned parties to contact us with any questions you might like for us to ask on your behalf. If you would like to submit a question please feel free to email editor@thetowerlight, or tweet us @TheTowerlight for us to consider your question or concern.

I continue to want The Towerlight to be a platform for individuals on campus, and I hope that by opening this interview with two administrators who are playing key roles in the diversity and inclusiveness initiatives that will shape the future of Towson, we can help to strengthen this important conversation.

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