A Letter From The Student Equity Action Committee (SEAC).
Fellow Honors College Peers,
The Honors College (HCOL) can be described as a community with an abundant source of academic curiosity and intellectual diversity. Despite this, our community continues to be a reflection of the demographic homogeneity of UVM as a whole. It is important that we acknowledge this fact because marginalized communities are already at risk in diverse contexts — even more so within the realm of higher education. This is why we must work hard to support and uplift underrepresented voices. We strive to do this through institutional advocacy, programming, self-education, and open, meaningful conversations.
That being said, the UVM community is not a safe haven where issues cease to exist. The fight for equity isn’t over merely because many of us acknowledge its existence; it is an ongoing effort which necessitates continued hard work, listening to student voices, and coalition-building. It is key to identify issues which affect students of marginalized identities, and to then construct actionable plans with targeted policies specifically designed to help support these students. It is often the societal assumption that it’s the duty of individuals of marginalized backgrounds to educate their peers on their identity, but this often emotionally draining, and time-consuming task should not be their sole responsibility. Therefore, extra effort must be placed on educating students on diversity and inclusion within structured courses.
Overall, it is within the power of the students to be the change for a better and more equitable future and it is the role of faculty and staff to be mentors who aid students as they develop and transition into that role. We want to empower and support students to get involved. It is the community's responsibility to have respectful, open, and supportive communication in addressing injustice. The Student Equity Action Committee (SEAC), strives to maintain and encourage this dialogue on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in order to help develop a more culturally competent environment, and to inform students on how we can dismantle systemic injustices. It is through these efforts that HCOL can achieve its goal of creating globally responsible citizens.
The Student Equity Action Committee (SEAC) strives to build and maintain an equitable Honors College community of globally responsible and multiculturally competent individuals. We will embrace the knowledge, skills, and voices of those with diverse experiences to foster an atmosphere of inclusion and excellence in alignment with university-wide efforts.
The committee meets regularly, and works closely with the Honors College staff-led Committee on Equity and Inclusion to build an increasingly inclusive Honors College at UVM.