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Benedictine College

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
1020 N. 2nd Street
Atchinson, Kansas 66002
Phone
(913) 360-7469
Email address
bcaudle@benedictine.edu
School Information
"Heir to the 1500 years of Benedictine dedication to learning, Benedictine College’s mission as a Catholic, Benedictine, liberal arts, residential college is the education of men and women within a community of faith and scholarship" (Source: https://www.benedictine.edu/about/index). The college was founded in 1971 and has over 2,000 undergraduates enrolled. 49 undergraduate programs and 2 graduate programs are offered. The school has a student to faculty ratio of 13 to 1.
General Information
Benedictine College has created a strategic plan that addresses diversity. The college will soon seek to require an orientation that discusses racism for all new freshman students in the future. The college states that all academic programs are said to incorporate diversity in some way. Staff at the Counseling Center are undergoing training for cultural competency racism. See developments below:

Actions Taken

Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • The Benedictine associate chaplain held meetings for the athletics department to address "the George Floyd murder, recent riots, and race relations."
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • On June 29, 2020, Benedictine announced that the school "recently established a GA position for Diversity Initiatives, and hired Tyler Shephard (former BSU president) in that position, to help coordinate and amplify the college response to issues related to race and inclusion." This position will work with the Dean of Students to give all new freshman an orientation presentation that will "equip white Raven students to better understand and correctly respond to racism."
Faculty/Staff Requirements
  • Benedictine's Counseling Center staff will "annually receive cultural competency training and training on the impact of racism on mental health." The center will also recruit more staff of color.
Program and Research Funding
  • In the summer of 2020, Benedictine announced that, "the college obtained a grant of $20,000 to the Black Student Union for programming and efforts to promote racial understanding on campus."
  • After an alumnus donation, Benedictine sent students to the King Program, which was created by one of the speakers from the Seymour Institute. This is targeted for assisting the inner-city poor and also is connected with the Black Student Union.
  • The college is offering full tuition scholarships for "high-achieving Black and Hispanic students." In addition, "The college has established a special donor fund to support scholarship assistance to low income Hispanic/Latino students, and benefits from the Atchison Community Foundation Scholarship."
  • Benedictine College's "Freedom Fellows" program "draws inspiration from the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr" and serves to "close equity gaps for historically marginalized student populations."
Re-Imagining Policing
  • On June 29, 2020, Benedictine announced that, "In collaboration with Atchison’s chief of police, Mike Wilson, Benedictine College and the Black Student Union have scheduled discussions/listening sessions to promote mutual understanding regarding what Atchison is doing in this area and how students can participate in meaningful action."
Resources
  • Benedictine responded to letters from students by creating a new strategic plan which addresses diversity. One of the initiatives of this plan is to use the Catholic Church and Catholic Identity as a "Model of Diversity" and as the "crucial center of its culture of racial inclusion." The President also released a "statement calling for prayer and action to end racism."
  • Benedictine brought in speakers who are "leading experts in race, community policing, and poverty" from the Seymour Institute Partnership. One of the speakers spoke at the college's commencement, and another one is working in conjunction with the college as part of its strategic plan.
  • Benedictine has been holding a lecture series, film series, mentoring program, book clubs, professional workshops, and social events under the Black Student Union.
  • The Counseling Center will "provide programming and opportunities for students of color to share their experiences and voice concerns, such as small group Compassion Circles and Courageous Discussions panels" and also "ensure that applicable resources are visible and available to the black students on our campus."
  • On June 29, 2020, Benedictine announced that, "the college’s goal is to increase the number of African-American leaders on campus, increase the number of African Americans on the academic honor roll, increase their retention and graduation rates, increase their religious involvement, and increase their internship and career placements."
  • The Department of Education incorporates diversity through the Education Department Subcommittee on Diversity and the Education Department Diversity Plan.
Symbolic Actions
  • On October 6, 2021, Benedictine College invited Gloria Purvis to give a presentation titled, "Racism is a Pro-Life Issue."
  • Benedictine's Student Government Association has formed a diversity task force and has collectively signed a "statement against racial injustice" along with other Newman Guide institutions' student governments.
  • On June 29, 2020, Benedictine stated that, "Collegewide, each academic program assesses how and how well it prepares its students to live and work in a diverse and multicultural society."
  • Benedictine states that, "To assist Hispanic students or other minority groups on campus, Benedictine College hosts a Hispanic Latino Club, an Organizacion de Alumnos Lationoamericanos (OLA) group and an International Club."
  • On September 7, 2020, Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers came to Benedictine to give a presentation on "Building a Civilization of Love: A Catholic Response to Racism."
  • In 2020, Benedictine's president released a statement for "prayer and action to end racism in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent riots in American cities."
  • In 2020, "the Benedictine College Black Student Union presented John Harris, pastor, educator and founder of two nonprofit ministries, for a talk on “Finding Common Ground” on October 26 on the college’s Atchison campus," focusing on race relations.
Last updated July 26th, 2022
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