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CofC mulling cultural sensitivity training for all students after racist costume incident

College of Charleston (WCIV)

College of Charleston president Glenn McConnell says he's considering student recommendations to improve campus life in the aftermath of a racial Halloween costume incident in October that was connected to the college.

McConnell wanted to meet with students and see what could be done to prevent anything like that happening again, he said in a news release Thursday.

“The racial incident that occurred a few weeks ago is deeply painful and a stark reminder to us all that there is always progress to be made,” McConnell said.

The meeting ended with a list of three recommendations from students.

The first on the list was that CofC should address it’s student code of conduct in regards to bullying. The college plans to have a revised code of conduct implemented for the start of Fall 2018.

Secondly, the students asked for the creation of a Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT), which is something several universities have in place. Some of those colleges include North Carolina State University, University of Louisville, and The University of Mississippi.

McConnell says CofC officials are already working with students to research the initiative and come up with a proposal to implement a BIRT by Spring 2018.

Lastly, McConnell says students asked for a diversity and cultural sensitivity training module to be mandatory for all undergraduate students, similar to AlcoholEdu.

All incoming freshmen would be required to take the training module beginning Fall 2018, under the proposal. McConnell is pushing to have the module’s contents approved by this upcoming spring, he says.

“Our conversation was honest and enlightening, and I walked away with a deeper understanding of ways to improve our institution,” McConnell said.

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