|Submission Date||March 2, 2020|
PA-7: Support for Underrepresented Groups
|3.00 / 3.00||
Assistant Director of Sustainability
Does the institution have a publicly posted non-discrimination statement? :
The non-discrimination statement, including the website URL where the policy is publicly accessible:
Smith College is committed to maintaining a diverse community in an atmosphere of mutual respect and appreciation of differences.
Smith College does not discriminate in its educational and employment policies on the bases of race, color, creed, religion, national/ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, or with regard to the bases outlined in the Veterans Readjustment Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Smith's admission policies and practices are guided by the same principle, concerning women applying to the undergraduate program and all applicants to the graduate programs.
Does the institution have a discrimination response protocol or committee (sometimes called a bias response team)?:
A brief description of the institution’s discrimination response protocol or team:
Bias Response Team
Equity & Inclusion
Calendar of Events
Policies, Forms & Resources
Bias Response Team
Notice of Nondiscrimination
Title IX & Smith College
Gender Identity & Expression
Responding to hateful and anti-Semitic symbols on campus, October 24, 2019
Inclusion in Action
Toward Equity & Inclusion
As stated in its Notice of Nondiscrimination, Smith College is committed to maintaining a diverse community in an atmosphere of mutual respect and appreciation of differences.
The purpose of the Bias Response Team is to support the college’s efforts to maintain an inclusive campus climate by establishing a mechanism by which it responds to bias incidents. The Bias Response Team is not a mechanism for investigative or disciplinary action. However, it enables the college to track bias incidents, collect aggregate data, identify educational responses, and connect individuals affected by bias incidents with supportive resources.
Bias incidents covered under this mechanism include an act of bigotry, harassment or intimidation based on age, color, creed, disability, gender identity, gender expression, race, religion, nation/ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status committed on campus for which the respondent cannot be identified..
This includes, but is not limited to, slurs, graffiti, written messages, or images that harass or intimidate individuals or groups because of their membership in the above listed protected classes.
Reporting a Bias Incident
If you have experienced or observed a bias incident, please report it by using one of the posted online, phone or in person options. Bias Incident Reporting
Bias incident reports may be filed anonymously. If identified, the reporting individual will be contacted and informed about supportive resources available to them. If the reported incident alleges a violation of college policy or applicable federal, state or local law, the reporting party (if identified) will be informed of additional resources and procedures.
Response to Bias Incident Reports
The college’s response to a bias incident report will depend on various factors, including the nature and severity of the complaint, the reporting individual’s wishes, the effect on the campus community, and the college’s obligations under the law.
Bias Response Team
The Bias Response Team acts as the college’s first response team in addressing reported bias incidents in which no respondent can be identified. All reported bias incidents will be referred to the Vice President for Equity and Inclusion who, in consultation with the Director of Equal Opportunity, will make an initial determination of whether the matter should be referred to the entire Bias Response Team for review. In making this determination, the Vice President for Equity and Inclusion may also consult with the Dean of Students, the Associate Provost or the Associate Vice President of Human Resources, depending on the nature of the bias incident and the involved parties. Should the Vice President decide not to refer the incident to the entire Bias Response Team, the Vice President may take, in consultation with the Equal Opportunity Director, any action that the Bias Response Team may perform, as stated below.
The Bias Response Team will meet in response to receiving a bias incident report referral from the Vice President. The Bias Incident Response team shall consider and undertake the appropriate measures to address the incident. Such measures, depending on the nature and severity of the incident, may include:
Supporting the affected person(s) through referrals to appropriate resources;
Engaging community members to maintain a living, learning and working environment free from acts of bigotry, harassment, and intimidation;
Assessing the circumstances of the incident as thoroughly and as quickly as possible;
Making referrals to appropriate campus officials so that action can be taken;
Identifying and assisting in implementing an appropriate educational response and community outreach; and
Notifying the community, as appropriate.
The following individuals will serve on the college’s Bias Response Team:
Director of Equal Opportunity and Compliance;
Dean of Students, or designee
Associate Vice President of Human Resources or designee
Associate Provost or designee
Vice President for Public Affairs or designee
A representative from Campus Police
Two student representatives appointed by the SGA; and
Vice President for Equity and Inclusion
Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit students from underrepresented groups?:
Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit academic staff from underrepresented groups?:
Does the institution have programs designed specifically to recruit non-academic staff from underrepresented groups?:
A brief description of the institution’s programs to recruit students, academic staff, and/or non-academic staff from underrepresented groups:
Smith College has many programs and policies to recruit and support students, staff, and faculty from underrepresented groups.
The AEMES (Achieving Excellence in Mathematics, Engineering and Science) program serves students interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and promotes the success of students from social groups historically underrepresented in those fields. The program seeks to ensure access for all students interested in enrolling in STEM courses and in obtaining research experiences. The AEMES program focuses on recruitment to increase the number and retention of students from groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM disciplines (e.g., students of color and students who are the first in their families to attend college) by helping them succeed in STEM courses and majors at Smith College. AEMES students also receive peer mentoring and participate in study groups and community-building events.
The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) Program, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is designed to increase diversity in the faculty ranks of institutions of higher learning. The MMUF provides qualified students with intensive faculty mentoring, term-time financial support for research projects, summer stipends to continue work on research and the possibility of undergraduate loan repayment if a fellow enters a doctoral program in a Mellon-designated field. The committee selects up to five sophomores per year (students must be U.S. citizens). Candidates are chosen through a competitive application process that identifies those who demonstrate academic promise and are committed to the MMUF's goal of reducing underrepresentation of minority groups on academic faculties.
The Posse Foundation was founded in 1989 by MacArthur Fellow Deborah Bial. Posse recruits ten student leaders from public high schools for each “posse,” sending them to colleges across the country with full-tuition scholarships. The Posse STEM Initiative was launched in 2008 and is partnered with Brandeis, Bryn Mawr, Davidson, Franklin & Marshall, Georgetown, Middlebury, Pomona, Texas A&M and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Smith joined this partnership in 2015 when it enrolled its first STEM Posse.
Women of Distinction is a program for high school seniors that highlights the opportunities at Smith College for African American, Asian American, Latina and Native American students. Participants in this three-day program will explore Smith College and determine whether it might be an appropriate college choice for them. Students will live in campus houses, experience the academic and social life at Smith and attend panels and workshops on student life and the college admission process. Admission to Women of Distinction is a competitive process based on academic and personal qualities. Preference will be given to applicants who have not previously visited Smith. Smith will provide round-trip transportation, meals and accommodations for all selected participants.
Floyd Cheung, Vice President for Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity works with faculty members to train them on inclusive recruiting. Cheung ensures a diverse pool of candidates have been selected, and signs off on final hires to make sure that best practices have been followed.
As a federal contractor, Smith College has an Affirmative Action Plan designed to recruit individuals from the protected classes, (staff and faculty from underrepresented groups, veterans and individuals with disabilities).
Smith has recently joined the National Center for Faculty Diversity and
Finally, a new opportunity for staff and faculty to develop affinity began in 2019.
HR takes a hands-on approach to supporting the recruitment and review of a diverse candidate pool. They actively consult hiring managers and interview teams to ensure all qualified candidates are appropriately in the pool.
The Mwangi Multicultural Center, as part of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, hosts numerous identify and affinity-based formal and informal meetings and engagements for staff, including mixers and game nights. The Wurtele Center for Leadership hosts numerous lecture and engagement series' about topics such as Bridging Divides in Public Discourse. The Sherred Center for Teaching and Learning establishes and nourishes Teaching Circles and Teaching Arts lunches to support faculty who are from and who are supporting underrepresented groups.
Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support, academic support, or other programs designed specifically to support students from underrepresented groups on campus?:
Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support or other programs designed specifically to support academic staff from underrepresented groups on campus?:
Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support or other programs to support non-academic staff from underrepresented groups on campus?:
A brief description of the institution’s programs designed specifically to support students, academic staff, and/or non-academic staff from underrepresented groups:
As mentioned previously, students in the AEMES program, which promotes the success of students from social groups historically underrepresented in STEM fields, receive peer mentoring and participate in study groups and community-building events.
The Bridge Preorientation Program welcomes first year and transfer students of color who demonstrate a commitment to creating and maintaining culturally inclusive communities. Bridge provides opportunities for finding mentors, friends, resources and a community—all before other students even arrive on campus. Through a variety of interactive student-led seminars and group activities, participants share their perspectives and listen to those of their peers to better understand and appreciate their similarities and differences.
Smith is home to the Unity Organizations, which are cultural organizations that serve as a network support for their members. Unity organizations include the Black Students’ Alliance, the Asian Students’ Association, International Students’ Organization, Indigenous Smith Students and Allies, and Nosotr@s. Unity organizations share meeting and workroom space in Unity House and the Mwangi Cultural Center. Throughout the academic year, Unity organizations sponsor fine arts forums, conferences, cultural celebrations, workshops and other activities, just to name a few, such as Mehndi Night, Rhythm Nations, Asian Tea House, Five College Pa’lante, Pan-African Conference, Kwanzaa Celebration, Chinese Moon Festival, Taste of Latin America and Unity Fall Festival.
Smith is also home to Prism, Smith’s organization for queer students of color. Prism’s main goal is to create a safe space for all QPOC on (and off) Smith’s campus. Prism is an organization that values and fosters community, and strives to create an environment that allows for critical and progressive discourse about issues of race, ethnicity, class, and queer identity on Smith campus. The structure of meetings varies: some meetings are casual and social, while others have facilitated conversations about issues that are relevant to life both on and off campus in Smith’s QPOC community.
The Disability Services Office coordinates a Peer Mentoring Program, launched in 2013, in response to a history of disabled students expressing an interest in connecting with one another socially and academically. The Peer Mentoring Program matches older students with disabilities to incoming disabled students in a mentor/mentee relationship. These older students provide support and advice to their mentees based on their own experiences navigating Smith with a disability. The Peer Mentoring Program hosts monthly mentor/mentee bonding events, an annual Disability Awareness Day event, and a special first-year orientation. Individual weekly meetings between mentor and mentee are encouraged. The Disability Services Office also hosts disability culture and community events at Smith throughout the year, open to students, faculty, staff, and community members.
The College Council on Community Policy (CCCP), with members from faculty, staff, students, the alumnae association, and the community, evaluate college policies in response to specific questions raised by members of the community. They make recommendations to the President regarding changes in college community policies; Identify ways to educate the community and provide guidance for dealing with community issues; Address issues of campus climate, diversity, and the composition of the community; Serve as a sounding board for students, faculty and staff concerned about matters affecting the college community; Act as an advisory group to the President and other campus offices and committees; Communicate findings and recommendations to the community on a regular basis to the wider community
The Staff Council has a subcommittee on diversity. The Diversity Committee is responsible for identifying and planning activities on campus that promote diversity. The committee collaborates with the offices of Institutional Diversity and Equity, and the President's Diversity Council in carrying out its mission. All staff are welcome to participate and join in the meetings.
Does the institution have training and development programs, teaching fellowships and/or other programs that specifically aim to support and prepare students from underrepresented groups for careers as faculty members?:
A brief description of the institution’s programs to support and prepare students from underrepresented groups for careers as faculty members:
The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) is designed to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in the faculty ranks of institutions of higher learning. There are MMUF programs at 81 colleges and universities around the country as well as international programs (in South Africa). Faculty/student mentoring relationships form the core of the MMUF program. Faculty mentors help to orient undergraduates towards the pursuit of a Ph.D. and a faculty career through two years of a close research relationship.
Does the institution produce a publicly accessible inventory of gender-neutral bathrooms on campus?:
Does the institution offer housing options to accommodate the special needs of transgender and transitioning students?:
Website URL where information about the institution’s support for underrepresented groups is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.