Disruption Diversity & Collaboration
It all started when...
students shared stories of feeling unwelcome on campus because of Race, Class, Gender, Sexuality & Ability. Research suggests when students feel unwelcome they are less likely to work together.
Our ability to collaborate is a major concern for Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger (2013) who commented that our "lack of collaboration is one of [our] biggest problems intellectually." In fact this is what prompted the formation of the Office of University Life nearly two years ago.
Two years later, the Office of University Life "struggles" to create meaningful collaborations and build relationships between key stake holders like students and studentChallenges to collaboration are many as the newly formed Office of University Life now "struggles." When key stakeholders do not feel included in decision making, or feel unwelcome collaboration proves all the more difficult. Harvard Business Review lists just eight. Given the unique challenges facing elite university and college campuses, it's safe to say Elitism, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, and Ableism impede meaningful collaboration. We recognize from our research---any hopes for successful inter-school & discipline collaboration must incorporate mechanisms to address these major impediments towards building Interpersonal Trust and increased Knowledge Sharing. Before we can imagine collaboration we must examine how students relate to their campus environment.
Our arts events/research projects investigate the phenomenon of campus "belonging" from the perspectives of the key stakeholders: the students. Our campus placemaking prototypes visual methods designed : (1) To understand the state of belonging at Teachers College, Columbia University, (2) To develop and prototype an approach for improving on the current state of belonging at Teachers College, Columbia University.
Our methods rely on optimizing social capital through student engagement. We are involved in the process of a type of Creative Placemaking catered designed around the student's experiences. combined with Critical Race Theory (CRT) as a way to expand notions of community and extend Creative Placemaking to college campuses. CRT addresses challenges that make Interpersonal Trust and Knowledge Sharing difficult. Creative Placemaking intentionally leverages the power of the arts to serve a community's interest.
We imagine Columbia University Students collaborating across schools and disciplines to respond critically, and creatively to social issues impacting the 21st century. We imagine the best and brightest minds, an engineer, an educator, & an artist collaborating in a welcoming space.