UMM Diversity Policy
The University of Maine at Machias will seek a campus community that includes -- and an environment that values -- differences in race, ethnicity, ability/disability, gender, sexual orientation, geography, national origin, religion, income, age, and ideology. The campus community includes the people who live, work, take classes, and/or provide services to the campus.
Vision Statement on the Role of Diversity in Higher Education
Our vision of diversity is that of a resource that invigorates the learning process and energizes the campus community being mindful that it can be a source of misunderstandings and wasted potential. Diversity is the tie that binds, linking together the curricular and the extra-curricular, the individual and the collective, and one group to another. Diversity also underscores the need to examine, reaffirm, and cultivate certain individual and institutional values. Experience has shown that diversity initiatives are most like to succeed in environments characterized by strongly shared values, including: the value of academic excellence, civic responsibility, self-respect, and good will towards members of the campus community. Diversity invigorates the two major types of learning that take place in the university: academic learning that occurs in the classroom and interpersonal learning that takes place outside the classroom in sites like residence halls and the library.
The respect for diversity entails a set of values, outlooks, and social practices that are indispensable for academic excellence. Open-mindedness, for example, is a hallmark both of academics and multi-culturalism. The recognition of human differences and nuances of belief and behavior within all groups bypasses the tendency to think in gross generalizations and over-simplifications. Individuals from different backgrounds teach others to interpret ideas or written works in new and unexpected ways. Differences between and within groups fuel academic dialog. Without difference and even disagreement in perspective, a dialog is impossible! Through collaborative exchange and interaction comes the release of creative energies. Through variety, learning can mix with the pleasure of discovery and experimentation.
The respect for diversity also provides the basis for interpersonal learning that takes place outside the classroom. Attending college opens up unique opportunities of cultural exposure. In the university setting students regularly interact interpersonally with individuals from diverse backgrounds, which can shatter barriers that separate groups and which can energize even mundane social interactions, making them exciting opportunities to broaden a student's horizons. Students also come to recognize differences and disagreements within communities--a recognition that breaks down misconceptions that stereotype groups. Exposure to diversity outside the classroom teaches students to reexamine their own underlying assumptions and values, which can lead to a reaffirmation or transformation of those norms.
UMM Diversity Committee Members 2012-13
Heather Ball, Professional Studies (Chair)
Karen Beeftink, Professional Studies
Elisa Boyd, Student Body
Michael Fish, Professional Studies/Science
Angelynn King, Library
Lois-Ann Kuntz, Arts & Letters
Garret Lee, Advising Center
Kim Page, Human Resources
Eric Peltier, Residence Life
PJ Singh, Admissions/International Student Services
Jim Thompson, Board of Visitors
Diversity-Related Campus Events - 2011
The 4th Annual Rainbow Ball, Sponsored by the 100% Society, was held Saturday, April 9, 2011 in the Machias Valley Grange Hall (a chem-free establishment.) This year's theme was "Back to the 60's." This event is made possible by previous ticket sales, SAF and generous funding from the Catawamteak Foundation.
The 100% Society's 10th Annual Drag Show Competition took place Friday, April 8, 2011 in the Performing Arts Center.
Disability Awareness Night was Tuesday, November 9, 2010 in UMM's Main Gym. Committee members Eric Peltier and Tina Naylor hosted a table at this event that focused on bullying and depression.
Diversity-Related Campus Events - Previous Years
PRIDE WEEK EVENTS sponsored by UMM's 100% Society took place the first weekend after spring break 2010.
4-10-10 The Rainbow Ball, an outreach event to all Maine high school students that are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, or allies, took place on Saturday, April 10, 2010.
2-25-10 and 3-25-10 UMM Safe Zones Trainings for Faculty and Staff - The Diversity Committee is partnering with Omicron Delta Pi, UMM's Human Rights and Advocacy Collegiate Fraternal Organization, to conduct trainings to re-establish "Safe Spaces" on campus.
12-4-09 International Student Presentation & Potluck - Committee members PJ Singh and Brenda Frey organized a pot luck dinner and a presentation on the Philippines that was free and open to the public. UMM student Eric Tan, a Marine Biology major, gave a talk about his home country.
11-6-09 Safe Zones Train-the-Trainer Workshop - Committee members Carlos Roldan and Betty Kelley, along with Athletic Director Brac Brady and ODP members Stephanie Wilson and Sean Stoddard, attended a training at the System Office. ODP has taken the lead, supported by the Diversity Committee, to establish Safe Zones on the UMM campus: places where people of all sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions are accepted, affirmed, and can feel safe.
11-4-09 Disability Awareness Night - Committee members Daniel Qualls and Nichole Cote hosted a table at Disability Awareness Night that focused on Anti-Hate Crime Legislation.
9-9-09 Faces of America, a multicultural theatre event blending entertainment and education while addressing serious issues regarding diversity.