By Camille Furst
The College released the anonymous “Campus Pulse” survey results on Thursday, June 11, through a campus-wide email sent by newly-appointed Vice President for Equity and Inclusion James Felton III. College President Kathryn Foster released the survey to students, faculty and staff in November 2019.
Of the students who responded, 61 percent were white and only four percent were African American — numbers that are reportedly similar to the overall ethnic diversity on campus. The population of the Class of 2023 includes 950 white students and only 83 African Americans, according to the College’s Center for Institutional Effectiveness. The proportion for faculty members is similar, with 261 white faculty members and 26 African American as of the fall 2019 semester.
According to the survey’s results, African American students and employees reportedly feel more excluded and treated more unfairly than other races and ethnicities. Meanwhile, the College noted that “overall, students reported TCNJ as being welcoming, friendly and a place where they can fulfill their potential.”
The College also noted in the student survey summary “significant gaps in awareness of important offices such as the Dean of Students, OIDEI, and ARC,” as well as students feeling mistreated due to their political expression, although these statements came without related statistics. Females respondents were also slightly more critical than males of the College’s measures toward promoting inclusion on campus.
Employees of the College brought up similar sentiments, including the mistreatment due to political expression and age. African Americans and Latinos reported feeling less accepted due to socio-economic status, and both Asian and African American respondents also reported less satisfaction from working at the College than other races and ethnicities.
Felton said in the campus-wide email that the survey is not the end of the road toward equality and inclusion for students at the College, but rather a means to get there.
“The team will take a deeper dive into the survey data and develop an action plan to help improve (the) community for all who study and work at TCNJ,” Felton said. “The work will entail sponsoring town halls, focus group discussions, and other activities to re-engage the community with the survey results, and to provide progress towards measurable and actionable goals.”