CSUB’s Campus Climate Committee aims to promote diversity and inclusion

Rosa Salazar, Assistant News Editor

  Despite their name, the Campus Climate Committee at CSU Bakersfield, has nothing to do with the weather. 

  Jaime Duran Jr., Director of Graduate Students, said he understands the committee’s name can be confusing. 

  “The words, “Campus Climate” refer to the campus culture that arises from the attitudes, behaviors, and decision-making standards that are prevalent throughout the university. The work ahead of us, and for every member of the CSUB Roadrunner family, is to learn how to conduct ourselves in ways that make our care and respect for each other self-evident,” Duran said. 

  Duran also said that the committee’s focus is on “promoting diversity, inclusivity, and equity.” 

  Claudia Catota, Chief Diversity Officer Facilitator, said she believes that inclusion and diversity are very important to the CSUB campus for various reasons. 

“We have such a diverse student population, especially in the county that we serve and it’s important that individuals feel like they belong at a university, that they have a voice and their education, that they feel like they are being respected either that they go to school here or if they work here,” Catota said. 

  “In order to create an inclusive climate we need to be aware of who our students who are faculty and staff are so we can make sure we have a respectful university and we can engage with each other with respect.” 

  Catota said the committee was established in Nov. 2020 and includes different staff and students within the CSUB campus. 

  Members of the committee include two student representatives from the Associated Students Inc. and faculty members from different departments in the university. 

  Catota said that the committee is currently working on a University Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan for the university to see what they can do to create a more inclusive climate for the students, faculty and staff. 

  Catota said right now the committee is in the learning stages of implementing said action plan. They are looking at data and focusing on what is going on in the campus. 

  “Once we collect the information, we’ll be having an open forum in the fall of this year,” Catota said. 

  Catota said the forum “would be a great opportunity for students to come and voice their concerns.” The open forum will be announced at a later date. 

  As for funding, Catota said they do not have any outside funding besides the Division of Equity and Inclusion and Compliance Office at CSUB, but hopes to receive funding with the implementation of the action plan. 

  Duran said if students have any thoughts about how the committee can make the university more responsive to the needs of diverse communities, they are highly encouraged to contact him via email at [email protected] or any other member of the committee. The Campus Climate Committee webpage on the CSUB website can provide more information.