Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 76.34
Liaison Elida Erickson
Submission Date March 1, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of California, Santa Cruz
PA-5: Assessing Diversity and Equity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 1.00 Linda Scholz
Diversity Director
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution engaged in a structured assessment process during the previous three years to improve diversity, equity and inclusion on campus?:

A brief description of the assessment process and the framework, scorecard(s) and/or tool(s) used:

Inclusive Sustainability Research Survey

In 2014, Environmental Studies senior Cheslea Pack wrote a thesis titled, “Privileged Perspectives or Diverse Discourse? Disparities in Student Perceptions of and Participation in the Environmental Movement at UCSC.” Through 443 undergraduate surveys and 27 interviews, Pack found that students of color and those of lower socio-economic backgrounds tended to participate less in campus sustainability movements yet were in fact concerned with environmental sustainability efforts. This was the first study that looked at the intersections between race, class, and perceptions of environmental sustainability on our campus.

In Winter 2016, PoCSC developed the Environmental Sustainability Survey to continue exploring campus perceptions and participation through a more extensive survey. Through this research, PoCSC aims to better understand campus sentiments to better inform our future policies, programs, and resources in an effort to support a more inclusive campus climate.

The Environmental Sustainability Survey was divided into four components:
1) Student participation in environmental sustainability programs and resources
2) Perceptions of campus priorities
3) In-class learning experiences
4) Personal experiences and suggestions

The People of Color Sustainability Collective, comprised of Ethnic Resource Centers’ staff, PoCSC student interns, and Colleges Nine and Ten Provost Flora Lu, worked with the Institutional Research and Policy Studies (IRAPS) office to develop and distribute the survey to UCSC undergraduates.

Does the assessment process address campus climate by engaging stakeholders to assess the attitudes, perceptions and behaviors of faculty, staff, administrators and students, including the experiences of underrepresented groups?:

Does the assessment process address student outcomes related to diversity, equity and success (e.g. graduation/success and retention rates for underrepresented groups)?:

Does the assessment process address employee outcomes related to diversity and equity (e.g. pay and retention rates for underrepresented groups)?:

A brief description of the most recent assessment findings and how the results are used in shaping policy, programs and initiatives:

There was a 21% response rate to the survey, 3,266 students.

UCSC is a hub of environmental activity: half of UCSC students participated in environmental sustainability programs and/or were members of environmental organizations. White non-hispanic (WNH) participated at a slightly higher rate compared to Asian American and Hispanic/Latino students by 3-7%, and no significant ethnic group difference was found in the rates of membership. While one’s ethnicity was not a predictor of participation in the environmental movement on campus, one of the strongest predictors was majoring in Environmental Studies (5.2 times more likely to participate in sustainability programs or organizations, and 6.3 times more likely to be a member of a sustainability organization). It is noteworthy that WNH students constituted 33% of undergraduates and 51% of Environmental Studies majors (the largest of such disparities among Social Sciences majors). Prior engagement with sustainability efforts before college, being concerned about environmental issues, attending a residential college with an environmental theme, being a transfer student or senior, being female, and also having experienced community health concerns were also significant predictors of student involvement in sustainability efforts.

An overview of the PoCSC and the survey results (such as discrepancies in attitudes around environmental topics like conservation & protection, food, etc. from PoC and WNH) can be found in the attached document below.

Are the results of the most recent structured diversity and equity assessment shared with the campus community?:

A brief description of how the assessment results are shared with the campus community:

All campus "Tuesday Newsday" article from University Relations, multiple listserves, and presentations from the PoCSC and others.

Are the results (or a summary of the results) of the most recent structured diversity and equity assessment publicly posted?:

The diversity and equity assessment report or summary:
The website URL where the report or summary is publicly posted:
The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives 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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.