Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Respect Values Statement

Updated 11/17/2021

We strive to enable Carleton students of all identities and backgrounds to be successful and feel a sense of belonging in chemistry courses and the chemistry major.  Welcoming, supporting, and relating to one another (students, faculty, and staff) with kindness and respect is central to the mission of the Chemistry Department and is critical in all our activities.

The Chemistry Department recognizes that:

  • Work on issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect (DEIR) is continuous, and the ways in which we address these issues will need to evolve as circumstances change.
  • Working in a community of people with different experiences can be challenging; we all need to acknowledge the challenge and engage with it actively.
  • There are many ways to participate in the department, and different people will contribute in different ways.
  • It is important to empower students from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented who may not have had equal access to opportunities within the field.
  • Student success requires access to resources (social, financial, academic, etc.).
  • We must work to ensure that student representation within the Chemistry Department matches the diversity of students at Carleton.
  • We must work to recruit a faculty whose diversity is representative of the country. 
  • Our actions will have unforeseen consequences (social, environmental, and others) and we have a responsibility to be aware of our legacy, to keep an open mind, and to remain self-critical.

We note that this is a living document and will be re-examined and changed as appropriate on a regular basis. 

Action  Items:

The list of action items indicates tasks that were identified in the conversations held when students, faculty, and staff collaboratively developed the DEIR Values Statement and do not represent the only work happening in the Chemistry Department. They have been grouped by theme and will be addressed by teams of faculty, students, and staff.

Everyone is welcome and a sense of community is valued.

  • Create onboarding documentation for visiting professors.
  • Make trends in demographic data for students, professors, and staff in the chemistry major and courses accessible and transparent to the Carleton community.
  • Promote “how to connect” and/or other welcoming information in classes (and department website) and revisit the content annually.
  • Figure out a process for being explicit in syllabi about the role of SDA and the Ring in welcoming feedback and questions regarding the department. Have the SDAs and the Ring deliver this message to intro classes when possible. 
  • Generate a working group to develop best-practices for forming problem solving groups in and out of class and ensure that faculty engage with this in each class.
  • Write a generic statement to include in all events that are open to all (students regardless of major) for event announcements. Determine clear criteria for when this will not be the case (e.g. comps planning meeting, etc.).
  • Ensure that the department website and other materials use gender inclusive language.
  • Evaluate locations for Periodic Table and other community-building events.
  • Ensure that common spaces are welcoming.
  • Update bulletin boards with events, values, and other departmental information.
  • Make shared copies of textbooks and resources available and accessible.

Students are supported as whole people.

  • Create/revise a uniform syllabus statement regarding support for all students (including resources described below).
  • Revise TA/grader/PSF contract regarding support for all students.
  • Describe resources clearly in the syllabi.
  • Develop a consolidated process to provide financial support to students who need it (for goggles, texts, etc.). Offer a link for syllabi to resources. 
  • Include links to resources for mental and physical health on the department website.
  • Revise departmental statements about groupwork .
  • Emphasize sleep and self care in addition to studying.

Questions and feedback are valued.

  • Develop mechanisms for anonymous feedback to faculty and the chair to allow for feedback and questions regarding the department, classes, faculty, and TAs.
  • Generate a mechanism to respond to anonymous feedback that denotes accountability and values learning.

Multiple versions of success are valued.

  • Revise departmental award ceremony.
  • Update processes for selection of seminar speakers (e.g., student-invited/suggested speakers).

Our actions as chemists have consequences.

  • Incorporate examples of real-life use and consequences of class materials.
  • Incorporate class material that deals with race when possible (e.g. pharmaceuticals being tested only on particular populations, ignoring people of color).
  • Share a repository of examples that is available on our web site.