UW-Madison launches new website, names new MSC director to improve campus diversity climate
The announcements will help UW-Madison promote diversity and inclusivity on campus.Image By: Jeff Miller
Following discussions on how to improve the campus climate in light of strife over racial injustice, UW-Madison this week announced the creation of a Diversity Inventory website and the appointment of a new director of the campus Multicultural Student Center.
The inventory, announced in a newsletter Tuesday, enables UW students, faculty and staff to find resources and programs related to diversity and inclusion on campus, and track the UW’s progress towards diversity-related goals. Its creation follows UW Chancellor Rebecca Blank’s 2014 call for an account of the university’s diversity programs in accordance with its Diversity Framework.
The Diversity Inventory defines diversity initiatives as “any diversity-related program, activity, resource or research aimed at improving the coordination, planning and visibility of activities related to diversity, inclusion and climate.” Examples of initiatives include assessments, programs, events, research and support services. This includes efforts such as updates to course curricula, changes to bathroom signage and community outreach programs.
Goals of the new website include providing the UW community with updated information about diversity initiatives and programs, improving the university’s ability to collaborate with off-campus partners in creating diversity activities and showing the university’s fiscal commitment to these programs.
The UW community will be able to understand which communities the diversity initiatives impact the greatest, the number of people they impact and the University entity they were created by.
The new website also features an interactive design where students, faculty and staff can also submit and search for diversity initiatives. Over 600 initiatives have been submitted — 42 percent of which represent student services — according to the Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement.
“DI provides a place for students, faculty and staff to easily find and engage with campus initiatives and ultimately effect change,” program director Dr. Torsheika Maddox said. “Entering this new phase, DI’s data tools can also hold the campus accountable to its diversity and inclusion commitments and allow units to track their progress over time.”
Following the updates to the Diversity Inventory website, UW-Madison announced on Wednesday that Claudia Guzmán was named the director of the Multicultural Student Center.
Guzmán started her time as assistant dean and director on Aug. 1 at the MSC before being promoted. Her focus lies in providing students of color with the resources they need to succeed by maintaining the MSC as a safe space for students and instilling confidence in their identities, she told UW news.
“I want the center to be a space where students of color can feel completely comfortable — a space where you can look around and see people who may have a similar lived experience as your own, and you don’t have to explain that,” Guzmán said.
Previously the Director of Student Life at UW-Green Bay, Guzmán worked in several roles anchored in supporting communities of color. Most notably, she helped create an emergency student grant program and created a graduation program for Latinx students at UW-Milwaukee.
Guzmán also founded two programs focused on the Hispanic and Latinx community, Latinas en Acción, a grantmaking fund under the Women's Fund of Greater Milwaukee and Cine Sin Fronteras, the Milwaukee Film Festival’s Latinx wing.
“The MSC needs to be a safe space and a respite,” Guzmán said. “But it is also important that we affirm the student’s identities so that when they go back to other spaces on campus or in the community, they have a sense of self-confidence.”Subscribe to The Daily Cardinal Newsletter