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Campus Leader

The resources on this page are designed for campus leaders seeking resources to identify and address divisive issues tearing at the social fabric of their respective campus communities.  Please take a look at the guides below for collaborative planning resources, and for ideas to advance race equity.  For a quick list of planning ideas on your campus, take a look at this short checklist.  Or if you'd like to see one idea for what this might look like, please review this short case study of a project from Kenyon College.

At the bottom of this page, consider taking a look at DCP's campus-focused simulation, "Springton University" or DCP's video series which highlights key themes from DCP's work.

Collaborative Campus Planning Processes

The following guides are designed for community and campus leaders who might work proactively to identify and address issues which might tear at the community’s social fabric.  In the classroom these tools might be used as dispute systems design resources, fodder for conversation about the role of a negotiator, facilitator, or third-party neutral, or as illustrations of how equity considerations might be embedded in dispute systems design. 

Against a backdrop of national polarization and increasing divisive incidents and conflicts, college and university leaders can focus with more intention to build trust and resilience within the university community and prepare explicitly for conflicts and divisive incidents.

For community leaders, social media presents valuable opportunities to engage community members, understand issues that underrepresented groups are concerned about, and encourage cross-community dialogue. At the same time, some users of social media may spread harmful forms of misinformation, engage in hate speech or online bullying, or use social media in various ways to take advantage of community unrest.

This guide discusses social media strategies for community leaders dealing with community division.

Leading in the Face of Unfolding Conflict

The following resource is an “off-the-shelf guide” for campus leaders facing imminent or ongoing unrest.

Intensified conflict and increased divisive incidents on campuses parallel the rancorous national political debate. Some portions of society, and therefore of the campus community, may feel disrespected and under attack. These students may become further alienated if others, those who are neither targeted nor most directly affected, seem dismissive when these students speak out.  The considerations in this guide come into play whenever an incident or conflict threatens to hurt or alienate a group of students or increase campus division.

Ideas for Collaborative Race Equity Initiatives

The following guides are designed to provide ideas and steps for community leaders as they design processes to enhance racial equity and address division connected to public spaces.  In the classroom these tools might be used as dispute systems design resources, fodder for conversation about the role of a negotiator, facilitator, or third-party neutral, or as illustrations of how equity considerations might be embedded in dispute systems design

A confluence of events, including a pandemic, protests, and business and school closings disrupted our country in 2020 and, despite deep political differences, there is broadened support for structural changes to advance racial equity. A multi-pronged, sequenced approach has a mutually reinforcing effect. Whether it is called a truth commission or something else – that process facilitates collaborative problem-solving over a period of years to achieve an equitable society that will afford each person the opportunity to thrive.

Creating accessible public spaces that feel welcoming to residents and visitors can bring people together to interact across societal fault lines. Improving the symbolic nature of that space can contribute to their sense of belonging, inspire them, advance their understanding, and more. By moving proactively, leaders might also avert divisive, and sometimes violent, conflicts over symbols and public spaces. Beyond these potential benefits of a proactive planning approach to enhancing the public environment, a collaborative process can contribute to mutual understanding and appreciation.

Simulations

The Springton University Simulation. Springton University was designed to simulate division on campus.  Designed and tested in 2020 at the Moritz College of Law, DCP intends to use Springton University with campus and university leaders at upcoming events.  The general facts are available here.

The following documents are available upon request (they contain confidential information) to DCP Deputy Director Bill Froehlich (froehlich.28@osu.edu)

  • Facilitator Instructions for working with community leaders
  • Facilitator Instructions for working with students
  • Facilitator Instructions for working online
  • The complete simulation, including all confidential roles, “injects” and a corresponding powerpoint

Case Studies

Take a look at this case study of Kenyon College's work, published in December 2021

This case study describes the work of Bloomington community leaders as they work with DCP through a community crisis and as they develop a task force on community policing.

Study 4 highlights the work of the volunteer Columbus Community Trust, convened with support from the Columbus Bar Association and the John Mercer Langston Bar Association, with support from the local U.S. Attorney’s office.