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Ongoing Response to Welcome Week Experience

We continue to respond in a variety of ways to the impact of the Fall 2022 Welcome Week DEIJ orientation session that caused much emotional pain in our campus community. Our efforts to repair and heal the trust that was broken have taken place on different levels and it’s important you know what those efforts are. 

The following is a list of actions since the last formal update.

Student Support

  • Blueprint for Belonging Community Conversations: Approximately 600 first-year students participated in five community conversations co-facilitated by Jazlin Coley (Director of Crew Scholars Program) and Jen Harvey (Associate Provost for Equity and Inclusion), in collaboration with Melissa Sturm-Smith (Associate Provost for Academic Excellence and Student Success) and Marina Verlengia (Director, New Student and Parent Programs). Nearly 40 faculty and staff played an invaluable role by facilitating discussions.
  • Students engaged in dialogue about Drake’ statement of equity and inclusion and artist, Nathan Wright, captured the conversations and created a piece of art (pictured below).
  • Every first-year student received a printed postcard of the Blueprint for Belonging artwork on which Drake staff handwrote messages of care and excitement to have students back in the spring.

Redress Response

  • We have created a redress fund in the amount of $10,000 to provide grants to any student who wants to create or offer a program focused on equity and inclusion (for example, a speaker, facilitated discussion, or some other creative endeavor). Amount of the grant ranges depending on the project proposed.

Apply for funds:

The funds must be used by November 30, 2023. Applications will be open until the resources are gone.

Hannah Clayborne (Dean of Students) and Jen Harvey will co-host a conversation to share ideas and support student initiatives related to these funds. That meeting will be held Feb. 7 from 2–3 p.m. or Feb. 9 from 4– 5 p.m. in Medbury Hall, Room 220. If neither of those times work and you want to meet, send an email to with your availability.

  • Student leaders met with representatives from the You.Me.We workshop to speak directly about the harm caused to students. Hannah Clayborne, Jen Harvey, and Melissa Sturm-Smith were also part of those conversations.
  • The creator and founder of GTC dialogues, the company who created the program, sent Drake a letter acknowledging that “[e]stablished protocols of facilitation were not observed” and the impact this had on students. You can read read the entire text of the letter here: GTC Letter.

Pedagogical Responses

  • A group of first-year and upper-class students worked with Jen Harvey to review the DEIJ curriculum included in BLUEprint for Success this fall. Their suggestions were included prior to implementation of the curriculum. They were compensated in appreciation for the value of this work.


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