By Anna Toth
Cleveland State is hosting Community Unity roundtables starting Jan. 31 in a continued effort to unite the university after anti-LGBTQ+ posters were found on campus last semester.
University Vice President Maurice Stinnett is organizing the roundtables and spoke with The Cauldron last semester about how to make the campus more inclusive and accepting of all minorities and cultures. Immediately after the posters made Cleveland State the subject of national news, Stinnett set up a panel to start the conversation.
“We made a commitment that we would create space to have conversations with our whole community to explore together how to build a more inclusive campus community,” Stinnett said.
The Division of University Engagement, headed by Stinnett, sent out a campus wide email to students on Thursday morning outlining the dates and times of the Community Unity Roundtables. These roundtables will discuss how the Cleveland State community can all stand together against hate and promote inclusion.
When Stinnett spoke with The Cauldron last semester, he explained that the anti-LGBTQ+ posters started the conversation. But since then, the conversation has been reframed to talk about inclusion and campus safety for people of every race, sexuality, gender and religion.
The Community Unity Roundtables will be a way for the conversation to continue and to make it open to everyone.
The first roundtable will be held Wednesday, Jan. 31 at 6:30 p.m. Follow-up roundtables will be held on Feb. 6 at 11:30 a.m. and Feb. 12 at 1:30 p.m. The roundtables are expected to go over university policies and procedures along with how the university responds to and prevents hate speech.
Representatives from Student Affairs Division and the Offices of General Counsel and Compliance will also be in on the conversation, but the email from Stinnett emphasizes the importance of student involvement at these roundtables.
“We need [the student’s] energy and [the student’s] ideas. We need [the student’s] voice.” Stinnett said.
Students can register for the community roundtable at the Division of University Engagement’s website as well as look at upcoming agendas for all of the roundtables.