Forming a group

How did we form?

Hushed discussions among trainees in our department began just after the high-profile case went public. A couple students took the initiative to reach out to the wider trainee community to ask for a meeting where we could openly discuss how we felt about our department.

Initial emails/conversations before forming a group

After a few trainee-only meetings, and one trainee-focused meeting with our department’s chair, we organically formed a group and started meeting regularly to discuss how to act on a moment where people around us seemed interested in engaging in this conversation.

 

Reaching out to department trainees

Email invite for first open trainee meeting

 

Reaching out to faculty and administration

We wanted to discuss where the culture of our department stands after the article about our former faculty member. But this conversation is difficult to initiate, uncomfortable for many, and within some conversation topics, legally off-limit.

Thus, our group was very strategic about how to initiate interactions with faculty. We were concerned that either 1) they would not take us seriously, 2) we wouldn’t have any leverage for making real, lasting changes, or 3) we would alienate faculty from our cause due to misunderstandings or using inflammatory language. We met at least a dozen times before inviting faculty into the same room as us for our discussions.

Reaching out to faculty as a whole was initiated by our group through an invitation to a series of department-wide conversations, moderated by an outside facilitator. More information on this process can be found on our Department Conversations page.