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Multicultural Center JacksRBack Plan

JacksRBack Plan for the Multicultural Center—Fall 2020

OPERATIONAL OVERVIEW

The Multicultural Center is a Student Affairs unit and will be adhering to the general university guidelines for safe operation in a pandemic environment. These guidelines align with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH). Key concepts to mitigate against the spread of COVID-19, which will be observed in the Multicultural Center, include but are not limited to the following: Individuals are required to follow the current university and SDBOR face covering protocols; Individuals will practice social distancing of not less than 6 feet; frequent hand-washing and use of and sanitizers; proper cough and sneeze etiquette; and self-monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms. Signage indicating these guidelines will be posted throughout the Multicultural Center and referred to frequently in the plan detail to follow.

This plan is also grounded in the SDSU Guiding Principles for Return to Campus and SDSU COVID-19 Protocols.

CORE DEPARTMENT FUNCTIONS

  • Develop campus initiatives that demonstrate the valued practice and philosophy of multiculturalism.
  • Promote high achievement among the increasing number of minority students.
  • Enhances the university’s mission by broadening the social, cultural, educational and recreational experience of students.

CORE FUNCTIONS PLAN

Develop campus initiatives that demonstrate the valued practice and philosophy of multiculturalism.

PROTOCOLS FOR ACHIEVING WORK

As we move forward to opening the center for fall 2020, some adjustments (with a hybrid approach) will be developed to create campus initiatives and provide greater support for our students. Culturally understanding the different types of support needed specifically for our LGBT students (when home isn’t an option to return) and an increased need for equitable access to learning will be paramount. While working with underrepresented students, we saw our students play a larger support role in their families. Those students who remained on campus or in Brookings were concerned about food insecurity and housing instability. Our plan is highly focused on rebuilding a stronger sense of security, trust and service to our student population in a safe and healthy space. 

  • Provide professional development opportunities for staff (webinars regarding crises management) to understand different types of support needed for students, particularly LGBT students and opportunities to increase equitable access to learning.
    • Utilize professional organizations such as NCORE for information specifically targeted for diverse populations.
    • Identify webinars that do not require staff travel.
    • Food and housing insecurity topics and resources will be an area of focus.
  • Incorporate tabletop exercises during staff meetings.
  • Reintroduce the center to students with new protocols and occupancy limits. 
    • Implement new occupancy guidelines and remove some furnishings to promote occupancy limits.
    • Adjust hours of operation based upon supervision availability for the space.
    • Post signage regarding COVID-19 and safety precautions in accordance with university marketing standards and guidelines.
  • Work closely with students and staff to adjust to the effects of COVID-19.
    • Post signage throughout office regarding prevention of COVID-19.
    • Meet with organizational student leadership (BSA/GSA/LASA) prior to fall semester beginning (MCC Organizational Zoom Retreat).
    • Hold one-on-one meetings via Zoom with incoming students regarding office protocol.
    • Deliver COVID-19 updates as a standing agenda item during all staff and organizational meetings.
    • Uee tabletop exercises during staff meetings.
    • Communicate through our website and emails any changes to protocol/operations.
    • Individuals are required to follow the current university and SDBOR face covering protocols.
  • Provide classroom presentations via Zoom or in person following classroom protocols and safety guidelines.

Communications Plan

  • Email communication to students.
    • Retention advisers will continue to reach out to students within the first six weeks of school to encourage engagement and involvement with the center.
    • Disability Services will continue outreach and follow up in collaboration with housing and academic partners to transition new and returning students.
  • Website updates: We will utilize our website to be both informative and interactive. 
  • Social media: We will use Facebook and other social media platforms to promote the services of the center to the community at large.

Enhances the university’s mission by broadening the social, cultural, educational and recreational experience of students.

PROTOCOLS FOR ACHIEVING WORK

The retention advisers also serve as programming advisers. Based on the current circumstances, many of our programs are being done virtually. As we move forward with opening for the fall, we will incorporate virtual and on-site programming following CDC guidelines and precautions. The virtual programming has allowed for better engagement for our students. Although the number of participants were lower, the level of engagement was higher. A committee has been formed within Student Affairs to provide guidelines for the best approach to have face-to-face programming.

  • Continuation of virtual programming and limited in-person and hybrid programming opportunities following university events and division programming protocols.
  • Use of kitchen area to promote social connections. Modify kitchen use to allow maximum of two occupants. After each use, the items used will be sanitized by the individuals using them. Staff will disinfect common appliances, tables, and countertops twice daily.
  • Increased outreach to new students.
    • For freshmen, outreach efforts will begin earlier.
    • Encourage MCC student organizations to assist in persistence and engagement efforts.
    • Increase in number of welcome week activities via Zoom meetings.
    • Work with academic advising to discuss ways to support for underrepresented students.
  • Increase student support for Disability Services.
    • Assist with new incoming students during the summer.
    • Increase training and workshops via the center for teaching and learning.
    • Move a number of our services online (forms, etc.).
  • Improving technology needs within the office.
    • Virtual and face-to-face student advising in our conference room.
    • Virtual and face-to-face office hours.
    • Provide virtual or small group in-person and hybrid weekend programming.
    • Improve website to include documents and forms for Disability Services and allow for electronic submission of forms and materials. Use DocuSign where appropriate.
    • Improve website so that it can be a primary source of information for all students.
      • Utilize Jacks Club Hub for student organization activities to drive students to the engagement hub for the university.

Communications Plan

  • Posters with instructions to office visitors:
    • Signage will be posted throughout the office for visitors
    • We will continue Heritage Month programming and planning calendars for the campus community.
  • Email communication to students: Same as above.
  • Website updates: Same as above.
  • Social media: Same as above.
  • D2L/MyState Messages: The retention advisers will use this platform to reach new students.
  • Jacks Club Hub: Ensure all student groups are updated and actively using the platform.
  • Encourage new students to use this platform to become involved throughout campus.
  • ConnectState: Continue working with Jody Owen to provide outreach and additional support for students through this platform.

Promote high achievement among the increasing number of minority students.

PROTOCOLS FOR ACHIEVING WORK

In terms of advisement, we are often called upon by faculty to provide outreach to students. A number of our underserved students initially lacked the technology support to prepare for online learning. We will continue to work with students to tap into those resources provided by the university. Our retention adviser and ADA coordinator served on the Supporting Our Students committee and provided insight on creative ways to provide outreach and support. We will continue our hands-on approach in a virtual world. This could be in the form of virtual platforms, telephone calls and a simple check-in. Our office staff has been creative with tapping into community resources to assist with our students.

  • Ensure access to reliable technology via a laptop check-out process with 20 laptops available.
    • Develop protocols for program to include length of time for checkout, does the technology leave the center or not, etc.
    • Implement a checkout agreement electronically completed by the student.
    • Implement disinfecting protocols for laptops once returned.
    • Evaluate use of desktop computers in student lounge space to determine if protocols could be in place to allow for safe use of these resources.
  • Ensure all staff technology is up to date and mobile to allow for flexibility in meeting locations and utilization of technology for meetings.
  • Provide more online resources and tools for advising students with reasonable accommodation requests.
    • Prepare digital accommodation memos/letters for professors and students.
    • Provide online service accommodations for students.
    • Increase support (dedicated staff) for disability services.
  • Virtual and one-on-one student advising.
  • Virtual and one-on-one office hours.

Communications Plan

  • Posters with instructions to office visitors: Signage throughout the office to promote programs and new available services.
  • Email communication to students: Retention advisers will do continued outreach to their assigned students through ConnectState.
  • Website updates: Kendra Eichten will begin the process of updating our website relative to disability services and the intake process.
  • Social media: Florencio Aranda will manage social media platforms.
  • Rabbit Report messages: We will continue to advertise our programming efforts through the Rabbit Report and Jacks Club Hub.