Stop the Hate Program kicks off at DelVal

Mar 30, 2011

Faculty, staff and students involved in Stop The Hate program

By Annmarie Ely

Participants in the DelVal’s Stop The Hate program met with members of The Race Culture and Diversity Committee March 24 to share outcomes from their training sessions and discuss concerns.

Stop The Hate is a nationally recognized educational program to stop bias and hate incidents on college campuses. The purpose of bringing the program to DelVal is to create a campus environment that is affirming and welcoming for everyone.

At the dinner meeting, college President Dr. Joseph S. Brosnan praised the work of the group, saying its formation was not only the “right and good thing to do,” but that it would “strengthen the institution in a tremendous way.”

He said program trainers would change individual lives for the better in ways they may never realize.

“I’m very moved to see this,” Dr. Brosnan said of Stop The Hate.

Dr. Audrey Ervin, of the counseling psychology department, was the first person from DelVal to become certified by the nationally recognized program.

After Dr. Ervin’s training, DelVal decided to bring the program to campus on a much larger scale.

DelVal selected 21 additional representatives to become certified Stop The Hate trainers. Representatives were chosen through a competitive process and were intentionally drawn from all areas of the college, including faculty, staff, administration, and student groups.

Trainers participated in a three-day intensive Stop The Hate Train the Trainer Program. They were then sent out to train different areas of the college.

Dr. Ervin said the program is specifically designed to “impact effective, systemic, campus change.”

Training for trainers focused on 12 different modules.

Some of the modules include: hate crime law, bias and hate crime issues, reporting hate incidents, characteristics that motivate people to hate and preventing hate incidents.

The program is not a one-time training and will continue to unfold over the next few years.

“People really wanted to talk,” said Professor Dr. Tanya Casas, who trained administrative assistants.

Alexis Islinger, of Student Affairs, said, “People shared personal experiences and what they’d like to see us doing…They had ideas about getting involved in the community and schools.” Islinger will present Stop the Hate material to the All Greek Council.

Vice President of Student Affairs John Brown has been working with the Cabinet. He is planning how the orientation leaders and resident advisors will be trained. There is also some discussion about training new students.

Students who are certified trainers will present to Greek life.

Resident Advisor Sarah Gardner said her dorm was “bustling with ideas about how to implement the program.”

Professor Brian Lutz, of the English department, “hopes the changes become systemic.” Lutz would like to see the program carry over into the curriculum. He is pursuing the idea of requiring English courses that would expose students to more diversity.

Security is planning to train its staff about the proper procedures for identifying and reporting hate crimes and bias incidents.

Janet Klaessig, of the library staff, will train the Student Conduct Board. She plans to give the students scenarios to discuss. She will also go over 10 ways to stop hate on college campuses.

In May the campus will host an educational event for the community that will include trainings and a speaker.

“I didn’t attend the training sessions, but I wish they had them back in the ’60s when I went to school,” said Board of Trustees Member William Wilson ’62. “I really applaud you and the work you’re doing.”