Lane McClellan, Director of the Crossroads Community Center, joins Sheena and John to discuss the role of Crossroads and the various programs that they help coordinate across campus throughout the year: Black History Month, Body Appreciation Week, Hispanic Latino Heritage Month, LGBTQ+ History Month, and Native American History Month among others. Originally aired 02/25/2018.
Sheena: Hello. This afternoon, you are listening to FIT2BTIDE with Sheena and John on 90.7 The Capstone. We hope you’re having a great Sunday so far. We have got a wonderful show for you. We have just another fantastic guest. You know, we’ve been really lucky this semester to have such a huge showcase of guests this semester, and today is no different than that. John, have you been enjoying this weather over the past week?
John: Yeah. It has been absolutely wonderful. I keep waiting on the allergy stuff to start, but it’s been good, it’s been good. It’s really … you know how I am about the baseball and the weather.
Sheena: I know, I was just about to ask you about baseball.
John: I hate to always go back to that, but you get baseball and softball and a little sunshine, and it’s perfect for me. I’m feeling good about things right now.
Sheena: Yeah, and then you like to run outside when the weather is decent, so that’s … that can be an opportunity as well.
John: Yeah. It’s a good time of year. I like … I always like the spring and fall. I don’t know about you, I like spring and fall. I like the change.
John: But, just being a baseball guy, I like this time of year with the … when it’s starting to get warm, and the pool’s getting a little warmer, and it’s a little closer to getting in the pool.
Sheena: Yeah, oh yeah, and y’all have a pool, too.
John: Oh yeah. Which is great for after the run.
Sheena: Right. Now, how … what is the earliest y’all have opened y’all’s pool? If I may ask?
John: I will be glad to tell you. Alicia and the kids will get in in March or April probably. John won’t get in until June or July, because I am so cold-natured that it has to be … honestly, it has to be 88 to 90 degrees before I’ll want to get in.
I don’t like to jump in a pool and it take my breath.
Sheena: Yeah. No, that’s fair.
John: Are you with that? I mean, are you the same way?
Sheena: I am. And you know what’s funny, because I think about my parents, they live in the North Alabama area, and so we had a pool growing up, and it was an above ground pool, but my parents had a deck that was built-in, and the deck actually turned into a two-story deck that connected to the rest of their house. It’s really a beautiful structure, and after my brother and I stopped swimming, my mom just got the crazy idea, I don’t know if she’s seen too many weird HGTV shows, but that pool is now a koi pond.
John: Is it really?
Sheena: It has fish, and it has … yeah. It is really. And then she’s bedazzled it with all kinds of different types of greenery. It is really … I don’t know how that is going to fare in terms … if they ever try to sell their house, because I don’t know if any buyer is going to be okay with … so, my dad is convinced that if they ever try to sell their house, that the fish are going to have to go, and they’re going to have to change the pool liner and actually turn it into a functional pool again. But for now, it’s my mom’s little project, so it’s been interesting.
John: Nice. Are your parents retired? Or do they still work?
Sheena: They still work. They’re still active and everything else, but yeah.
John: I just didn’t know if that was like a little side project.
Sheena: Yeah. My mom always has little side hustles happening in the yard. She has a green thumb. I have a black thumb. Things tend to die, so anytime they come down to Tuscaloosa, my mom will bring new plants for me, and then she’ll pick up the pots of all the plants that did die, so she can re-use those pots. And she’s like, “I just … I understand.” She said, “As long as that’s the only thing you’re killing, I don’t really care. You can cook, and you can do all this stuff around your house, so if you’re just killing plants, but you can keep your dog alive, I’m really okay with that.”
John: Do you do much stuff outside, though?
Sheena: If Terry makes me. And I do … he does a lot of our yard work, and there have been days where I’m motivated and I’m like, “Oh yeah, I’ll help him.” But it really depends if I feel like I have everything on to protect me. I’m not a bug person, so I’m going to have to go there with gloves, long pants, long sleeves, because if I feel something heebie-jeebie touch me, it’s going to be a no-go. But if I feel like I’m fully protected and sealed, I’ll do yard work, I could be in that sweatbox of a sweatsuit, but if no bugs are getting in there, I’m okay.
John: You’re all right?
John: I’m with you. I can’t believe I’m going to tell you this, but I just air all my dirty laundry. I hate getting my hands dirty.
Sheena: Really? Okay.
John: Yes I do. So, it might be good if I could actually fix things, but I can’t fix things either, so it doesn’t matter if I get my hands dirty anyway.
Sheena: Well, I appreciate your honesty.
John: Yeah, anyway. Let’s … this is a great stimulating conversation, my dirty hands. But we got to take a quick break. Want to take a quick break? We got a great show lined up, but we’ll get back to that in a minute. We won’t talk about my dirty hands anymore.
Sheena: Okay. I appreciate that.
John: Okay. You’re listening to FIT2BTIDE with Sheena and John on 90.7 The Capstone.
Crowd: We’re the [inaudible 00:05:11] Assembly, and you’re listening to 90.7 The Capstone.
John: Welcome back to FIT2BTIDE with Sheena and John on 90.7 The Capstone. Once again, we want to thank you for spending part of your Sunday afternoon with us. We got a great show lined up for you.
Going along with what we usually talk about, our wellness topics, we’ve got another great wellness topic lined up for today, and we’ve been kind of all over the place this semester, but that’s our goal. We want to hit all of those wellness topics that don’t get talked about a lot.
Sheena: Right. I think it’s so important. So many times traditionally, we think of health as just how we eat. Are we moving? Are we free of chronic disease? Our health is so holistic. I think when it comes to our mental health, and our health as how we see ourselves contributing to society is such a huge piece of everything, and I think a lot of what we’re talking about in today’s show is going to tie into that.
John: Right. Yeah. Absolutely. Actually, before we get into that, there’s one thing … when we were first coming in, there’s one thing that I wanted to get your opinion on.
John: And it has nothing to do with our topic today.
John: With what you do … I had no idea, I was doing some reading this weekend, I see how many people are affected by asthma. Kids in particular. I wrote down some numbers. One out of 12 children that are under age 17 have asthma.
Sheena: I did not realize the numbers were that high. Yeah.
John: Yeah, that’s a huge number, and more than half of all children with asthma had one or more attacks this past year. So, we have a lot of students come in onto campus that have asthma attacks. Is that something that you have to deal with on a regular basis?
Sheena: For me, I would say, and this may be just more so based on the types of students that are coming to see me, it is not as frequent for me to have students that are emphasizing their history of asthma when they’re coming in for their nutrition visit specifically. Sometimes they may be asking potentially about how their diet could play into that, and we talk about that. Oddly enough, when I’ve noticed a lot of patients that are eating a lot of processed foods, that actually tends to exacerbate their asthma versus them having more variety and balance in their diet with the antioxidants from fresh fruits and vegetables, and all that kind of stuff.
John: Right. That’s where I was going with that. People who have asthma can benefit from coming to visit you.
Sheena: Yes. Yes. Yes.
John: Absolutely. Fortunately, knock on wood, we haven’t had a lot of issues at the rec center, but this time of year, with allergy season coming up, it just … this is just something I thought about as we were coming in with people starting to exercise outside.
Sheena: Sure. Yeah. I’m sure that as people are … they may challenge themselves for the first time with physical activity kind of being in that mode of, “Oh, I’m motivated to exercise. Let me go zero to 60.” And that can be a really scary thing, if they’re not prepared with everything they need medically if an asthma attack were to happen.
John: Right. Gotcha. So, moving on in to our main topic today. I didn’t mean to … and this isn’t a very good transition on my part.
John: But I did want to ask you that. We’re fortunate today to have the director of the Crossroads Community Center, Lane McClellan here with us. Lane, thank you for joining us on a Sunday afternoon like this. It’s good to get you out of the house, right? And doing a little something on a Sunday afternoon?
Lane McClellan: Yeah, yeah. Well Crossroads works frequently on Sundays and Saturdays, because we do a lot of workshops, and that’s when the students are free.
Sheena: Oh, well good deal. Lane, tell us a little bit about your role. Of course, you are director, but kind of tell us what all that entails, and how you really function with the rest of your team.
Lane McClellan: Yeah. So Crossroads, we are the Community Engagement center on campus. We primarily do that through three categories of inclusive engagement. Through our dialogue programs and through our collaborative engagement activities. And I have a wonderful team. Paige Bolden is our intercultural engagement coordinator, and is actually teaching our Sustained Dialogue class for us, and so Paige does a lot of work both with the students in the classroom, but also she directs our practicing inclusive engagement workshops, and those are the kind of workshops I was telling you about.
Sheena: Okay. Wonderful.
Lane McClellan: But we put those together in the summer of 2015, and people kept asking us for diversity trainings, and so we felt like we needed to put the pen to paper and work out some ideas that made that an interactive and positive and engaging experience. Those are some of the things we do. We also do the campus dialogues, we do the inclusive campus breakfast once a month. I could go on and on. So tell me what you want to hear more about.
Sheena: Yeah. Well, before you go further Lane, and I’m sorry John, I’m looking at you and thinking, “Oh no. I cut him off.” Have you always been in this role at the University? What other areas of campus have you worked in before serving as director of Crossroads?
Lane McClellan: So, I came to Crossroads from New College. I was the assistant director in New College, and before that was on faculty there for several years as the instructor. I came to New College to direct a deliberative … I think they named it Deliberative Democracy Internship program, but I also simultaneously taught an ethics course there, and another course that is a common core course for the University, it’s called Cooperation and Conflict.
Sheena: Okay. Wonderful.
Lane McClellan: Before that, I used to teach ethics for nine years at Shelton.
Sheena: Okay. Wonderful. That’s awesome.
Lane McClellan: And then there’s lots before that. How many hours you got?
Sheena: Yeah. It’s like let’s talk some more.
John: That’s interesting. I’m always intrigued by ethics courses, because I teach actually occasionally teach and online Ethics in Sport Management, and say you get into so many issues with sports, and ethics and that sort of thing. We could probably have some good conversations about that.
Lane McClellan: I currently, also at the University, I teach a course in women in moral theory. It’s actually called Moral Obligation in the Feminine Experience.
Sheena: Oh wow. Okay.
Lane McClellan: It’s not just women in the class, but we talk about sort of that part of experiences that people that have not been included in traditional theories of ethics.
Sheena: Nice plug for that. Anybody that’s listening, if you’re ever interested in that … taking that course.
John: Could you tell … I know you mentioned Sustained Dialogue a little bit there. Could you go into just maybe just a little bit more detail about what that is? Because I was reading online about other people getting involved in that, and what all’s … what all you could do to get involved with it.
Lane McClellan: Yeah. Sustained Dialogue is actually a national … it comes from a national institute that has campus chapters. So there’s the Sustained Dialogue Institute. It is headquartered in Washington, DC, and in fact, we were just on a conference call today, a monthly conference call that we have with other directors of campus chapters through Sustained Dialogue.
You’ve probably heard in many places they have dialogue models, and there’s one called Intergroup Dialogue and Difficult Dialogues, and we adopted the … back in actually 2006, way before I even came to Crossroads, but the University of Alabama was one of the initial chapters of Sustained Dialogue. It is … it asks that people meet together, say the same 10 to 12 people, over a series of months to move from dialogue to action.
A lot of people say that dialogue is all talk and no action. But the Sustained Dialogue, if you sustain it, and if people can build relationships early on, then they’re able to go deeper on what the real problems are. What are the problems behind the problems of an issue? And then name a particular action step that those 10 or 12 people can do, what they can do, what the community can do, what institutions can do. And act on it.
Sheena: Have you found with the students and even faculty/staff that have been engaged this semester or last semester, has there been a level of continuity as far as students coming weekly or however frequently the sustained dialogues are happening? Or does it just depend on the topic?
Lane McClellan: So, that’s actually a good question, but I’m going to have to answer it by saying … by dividing what we do. So, Sustained Dialogue, we ultimately made a class, because in order to sustain attendance, there had to be a structure that the students were used to. In fact, we’re the only campus that has done that at the scale that we’ve done it. A couple of other campuses have made it part of a seminar for 15 folks, but we have 60 students a semester who sign up for a one hour credit through the honors college, or through New College, and they then are organized into groups of 10 or 12 students and they meet regularly, one day a week, and they talk about issues of race, and gender, and sexuality.
Lane McClellan: But the separate thing is the Campus Dialogues, and that is every Wednesday at 1:00, from 1:00 to 1:50 in the Ferguson Center, and those are premised on the same type of engagement. In other words, it’s a more of a listening and really trying to understand people’s stories, but it is not the same 10. Although some people are current … I mean, sorry, they’re frequent attenders.
Campus Dialogues is adapted from the Sustained Dialogue model, but it’s not the same thing as the class.
Sheena: Well, I appreciate you putting in that clarification. I’d like to ask you more about that after the break, especially as it ties into some of the different events that we have going on on campus this upcoming week. You guys, it’s time for another break. You are listening to FIT2BTIDE with Sheena and John on 90.7 The Capstone.
STATION STINGER: Hi. I’m Michael Caskey. I’m a Civil Engineering major, and you’re listening to 90.7 The Capstone.
John: Welcome back to FIT2BTIDE with Sheena and John on 90.7 The Capstone. And, we’re continuing our conversation with Lane McClellan, from the Crossroads Community Center this afternoon. Talking about some of the things that you guys do, and we were talking at the break about some of the different things that you guys do. Y’all run the gamut. Y’all have a lot of different things going on. You know it’s really interesting, one thing that Sheena had jotted down here, I’m going to steal your question here, Sheena.
Sheena: Of course, please do.
John: Because Sheena and I constantly argue about food. Can you talk to us about the Interfaith Meal Guide?
Lane McClellan: Yeah. So, Crossroads mostly tries to get people together who don’t normally come together. And to make those experiences positive experiences. So we come from many different places and life experiences, and so when those roads cross, sometimes things are not like we’re used to them, yeah?
And as well, the other problem that we run into, and I think it’s just true everywhere, is that we know what’s good for us, but we don’t always … we’re not always thinking what other people need. It’s just not on our radar. It’s not that we mean to be exclusive, it’s just that we’re not thinking about these things.
And one of the first things that Crossroads started doing years ago was interface dialogue. And so, it’s always more fun to dialogue over food, and so we would order meals, and the more we began to do that with the different faith groups on campus, we were aware that we needed to have a better variety. We couldn’t always just get Jim and Nick’s right?
John: I could, but yeah.
Lane McClellan: Right. And so, every time we were challenged by that in good ways, we learned a little bit more, and then we thought, “You know, maybe other people would like this as a resource.” So we found that and put it on the website.
John: Right. Sheena, I’m going to turn around here to you. I’m playing host today. Your thoughts on that, because I think … that’s really interesting to me.
Sheena: I think that that, when I saw that on the Crossroads website, I got so excited just because when students come to me and they are talking about their food experiences, food is such an emotional part of who we are. For many people, it represents so much of their culture, and I think that when you have students that are interacting with each other from different regions, and you can make them more aware of those differences and appreciate that, and embrace someone’s culture, even if it’s just over that one meal. It’s just that it’s such a fantastic opportunity, and again with food being such an emotional experience, it’s great to have that bond versus one person essentially feeling left out because they felt like their traditions were not honored in a mealtime. I got really pumped when I saw that.
Lane McClellan: It’s one of those things, like I said a minute ago, when you’re not aware of it, you just don’t notice it. But once you’re aware of it, then you begin to look around, and I remember not long after I came to Crossroads, and I was at a banquet, and it was honoring students and other folks. I noticed that the young woman next to me had had to ask the waiter to take back and just bring her a vegetarian plate, and they did, but they only just scraped off the previous meat on it, and put more vegetables on it, but of course it still had the sauces and everything from it. She just very politely said, “Thank you.” And then she ate three desserts for the banquet, because there wasn’t anything else for her there.
Lane McClellan: So, once you’re aware of it, then you think, “Oh my gosh, how … that could have been solved so easily and no one had to be left out.”
And then, when once we go to where we did it all the time for any event we had, we always got a food array that would work, we had a student … two or three students just come to us and say, “Thank you. Thanks so much for thinking about that.” And you’re like, “Oh, well of course.”
But to them, it’s a big deal, because so often they are excluded.
Sheena: Right. Thinking about that, and knowing there’s so many … just thinking about this Interfaith Meal Guide, there’s so many departments on campus that may have like catered lunches for student groups and everything else. Have you guys ever been in a position where you offer workshops for different departments to foster more inclusivity within their areas?
Lane McClellan: Yeah. So, we leave the food part to y’all, but we do try to model it, and if anybody talks about it, that’s always a good talking point. But, mostly our workshops deal with other, we call them Practicing Inclusive Engagement Workshops, but they spell PIE, it turns out it’s about food still. [crosstalk 00:20:16]. Yeah. How about that? Practicing Inclusive Engagement. Well, we thought that was fun at least, but in these workshops, they’re totally interactive. There are no PowerPoints, there are no handouts, people are constantly moving around the room, and just reflecting on social identities and how those affect the ways we move through the world, and how those affect the assumptions that people make about you. And it introduces concepts that no one person is any one thing. We are all … have intersectional experiences of our gender, and our race, and our religion, and all those sorts of things. I could again go on and explain a PIE workshop to you, but tell me what interests you and hear more about that.
John: To get involved in those, again going back to that, that’s a good description of it, obviously, but I mean, are there costs involved? What’s your target group, and that sort of thing?
Lane McClellan: Well, it initially started from people who asked us for diversity experiences, and that’s when I said we developed these workshops. But, then it grew and grew, and initially it was for our housing RAs, because as part of their training every year, how could they be more inclusive in the ways they engage the Freshmen?
But then, other leadership groups, the Avantis and Freshman Forum, First Year Council, all of those groups started asking us to do it. Then we would do a lot with Panhellenic, we just did the IFC new member, no, pledge past presidents last night, so it’s kind of grown that way except that we also do faculty and staff, so we’ll be working with first year teachers … first year English teachers on campus. We’ve also done it for the Associate Dean’s council, anybody who asks. In fact, we go, we’ve been, we’re part of the division of Community Affairs, and so our mission is also to the state, so we’ve been up and worked with UAB medical professors, we’ve worked with the churches, and who were wanting to have conversations around race, and they need some skills for doing that.
Sheena: Thinking about Crossroads, just having such an evident mission to foster a culture of community and inclusiveness and diversity, over your tenure here at the University, Lane, what kind of improvements have you seen in that area, that you have been just really pleased as an individual that this University has done?
Lane McClellan: Yeah. I’ve been here a little over 10 years now, and of course I attended here as an undergraduate. That was a very different place then. They can’t see through the radio how old I am, but … I would say that there’s a greater comfort and hunger to talk about issues of diversity, and how to make ourselves a more inclusive campus. In my experience, especially in the last 10 years, I’ve seen faculty and staff and students saying, “We need to talk about it, we need to talk about it.” But there was no structure for doing that, and the university has consistently with every year, provided more and more structure. And, we’ve been really happy to be part of that.
Such that, recently when the campus experienced some challenges around the videos that were posted around the first of the year, we already had our campus dialogues were scheduled at 1:00 the day everybody came back to classes, and it was right after some other students had a march, but we were in place, ready to go, with trained student moderators and staff to engage people in what are the challenges next for us, and how are we going to move through that?
What I would say I’m really excited about, is that the growth of people who always cared, and always wanted to do what they could, but now there’s more and more systemic structure to make those things happen, and support students in making those things happen as well.
Sheena: That’s awesome. That’s wonderful, thank you.
John: You guys are real similar in what we do, and what Sheena does as well, in the collaborative efforts that you have with a lot of groups, and I’ve got several questions for you about that. We’ve got to take a quick break here in just a second, but looking at the list of collaborations that you guys have, and I was talking earlier about how diverse everything is that you do, your collaborations are really diverse as well, so we’ll get to that after the break. But we do have to take a quick break, we do have to take a quick break, Sheena?
Sheena: Yeah, we do.
John: Or we can keep going?
Sheena: No, no, we got to take a … we got to take a break. And you guys, just stick with us, we’re having a fabulous afternoon. You’re listening to FIT2BTIDE with Sheena and John on 90.7 The Capstone.
Paul: Hey, I’m Paul, found on my favorite station in the world 90.7 The Capstone.
John: Welcome back to FIT2BTIDE with Sheena and John on 90.7 The Capstone, and we continue our conversation this afternoon with Miss Sheena here, the She-Dog, and Lane from Crossroads here at the University. So far, I’ve learned … I didn’t know that you guys did all this. I knew some of what you did, and looking at what you do, I’ve got a list here of things that I’ve jotted down from your website. I might hit you kind of in a … this might be our little speed rush here. I’m going to run through some of these things here and get your thoughts on them.
Again, you guys have a ton of collaborative efforts it looks like. What is y’all’s role in Black History Month during the month of February? What all do you guys do with that?
Lane McClellan: Yeah. So we actually primarily have the calendar, we create the calendar for all the commemorative months, so Hispanic/Latino Heritage Month, we’ll do work with LGBTQ History Month in October. Hispanic/Latino Heritage Month happens September 15th through October 15th, which is kind of a … it’s the only one that’s kind of mid [crosstalk 00:26:36].
John: That’s not a month. Yeah, that’s a month, but it’s not [crosstalk 00:26:38].
Lane McClellan: But, it’s a month worth of time. Then LGBTQ History Month happens in October, November is Native American Heritage Month, then of course, we’re all gone for the holidays. I mean, we’re not, but students are.
Sheena: Right, right, right.
Lane McClellan: And then, in January, we come back with half the month, but in February is Black History Month, and then there’s Women’s History Month, and interestingly Deaf History Month is also coming up. And then of course, Asian-American, Asian-Pacific-American Month comes up in May. Again, regrettably, once most of the students are gone.
But, we don’t do all of it, but what we do is we invite people to come to the table and share what they want to do. They can look for collaborative partners that way, they can also keep from programming on top of one another. And then, we just tell them, “Send us all your information.” And we try to put it together in a nice eye-catching poster that we can also share digitally, and across campus.
So everybody on campus can know all the wonderful opportunities that are going to happen during that month, but we don’t do them all, we just encourage people to collaborate to do a lot of good stuff. And sometimes we have occasionally things in there.
John: Right. Well, as a native Moundvillian, I do have to say I’m … the Native American Heritage Month is interesting to me. I mean, growing up there, I know everybody from around the state takes their one trip up a year over to the mounds. I grew up a mile from the mounds, so I spent a lot of time over there during the summers. But, I’m just … I’m intrigued by that. I think that’s really neat that you guys do that. The other thing that I wanted to ask you about as well, is one of my best friends’ daughter’s daughter is deaf. She was born with a hearing deficiency that got worse as she got older, and the Deaf History Month is really interesting to me, and that you guys actually have that. I had never heard of it before.
Lane McClellan: So, I have to admit, I had not either. This is another good example of our excellent students. We had a wonderful student a couple of years ago, who also then connected with another fantastic faculty member and they formed a student organization, so Darrin Griffin serves as the faculty advisor, and Delphini Woo was the student who started Deaf Hands Speak. We met, she was a very engaged student all over campus. She graduated last year, year before. She just from nowhere started this club, and in that process, I got to know her a little bit, and then we said we do the Campus Dialogues every Wednesday from 1:00 to 1:50, one of the things we noticed is that very few people know about deaf culture, and we don’t even know what we don’t know about that.
So, Deaf Hands Speak came, and they led some Campus Dialogues for us, and in the process, they said, “You know, Deaf History Month is coming up.” And we said, “Well, let’s make it a calendar month.”
So, they put together a fantastic calendar. So, last year was the first year that was done. Now, what I would say about that too, is that once you get into … this is what’s so beautiful about the dialogues, once you actually start talking to people about things, and you realize our campus, we have a school for the deaf in the state, but our campus only has, I think one student, and I believe he’s a Ph.D. student who is deaf and attending school here.
So, there are many things that people have to think about in order to do that, but just again, not on a lot of our radars.
John: Again, it’s crazy there’s only one person that’s a student.
Lane McClellan: I believe that’s correct. And that was again, maybe last year, but what’s interesting about that is though that when students or anyone that’s also in this case a faculty member who’s been excellent at helping me be more aware even of my language and my thoughts about how I communicate
Lane McClellan: And not being aware of how much that excludes deaf culture.
Lane McClellan: So, all these things are important. That people come together in these collaborative heritage months, and we just spend that time talking to them. One of the critiques of … well, I don’t think it’s a critique, one of the concerns around it, people will say, “Well, you shouldn’t just celebrate it once a month.” And I agree, absolutely. Because this is, should be an ongoing way of life, but we sometimes need to be intentional about taking that month, and then making sure we take the time to learn about other experiences and honor and highlight, exactly.
Sheena: Well Lane, with the Campus Dialogue topics that you guys have had in the past, and I know we still have quite a bit of the spring semester left, what kind of topics are coming up, because I know, you and I were actually going to be collaborating soon, too. So kind of tell us some of the topics that are coming up for the rest of the semester.
Lane McClellan: Yeah. As you mentioned, I’ll just tell you kind of an array that we’ve had so far. You mentioned with Black History Month that’s been going on this month, during February, and so we actually talked about Black History and the Black experience at the Capstone. So, if you’re a student of color at a PWI, or predominantly white institution, what’s that experience like? And then people shared some of those things.
Then we also dealt with free speech and the campus community. This past week, we looked at how does our language about romantic relationships include or exclude people? So are we making assumptions about the nature of their relationships? Are they same-sex relationships? Are they heterosexual relationships? And just our language, how that affects people.
Coming up, we’re going to be talking about body image, and how we are inclusive or marginalizing people based on body image as norms. And then, we’ll be talking about cultural appropriation versus cultural appreciation. Also, we have the Womens and Gender Resource Center, who will be with us towards the … in April to talk about sexual assault awareness.
Sheena: Right, right. How frequently do faculty/staff get involved in those dialogues? Or does it tend to be more student-predominant conversations?
Lane McClellan: It tends to be more students, but faculty and staff are always invited, and we have had faculty and staff come, and frequently, especially the staff who works in the Ferg. They’re almost always … they’ll come down. And then, Dr. Taylor, we’ve been really grateful to have Dr. Christine Taylor, who is our Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion there every week.
But, we encourage faculty to send their students there for extra credit, because even if they go, if they … even in the presence of other people, they will learn something, and so sometimes a faculty member who is sending a student will also come. We welcome that.
Sheena: That’s wonderful.
John: I think one of the things that Sheena and I have, and you kind of touched on it a little bit, Sheena and I have been noticing over the last few weeks, we have such strong students here at the University, and some of the programs that they come up with on their own, or they encourage faculty/staff to … they get a little push and things get to rolling with it. We’ve really been impressed this semester in particular … over the last couple of years, it’s been good.
Sheena: Right, but this semester, we’ve had students that have come, we actually had an individual from the Zebras organization talking about students that are concurrently a “regular college student” while managing a chronic condition, and so it’s just … John and I have just been so moved by … they saw a need and they made it happen, and they wanted to provide a just a support system for other students.
Lane McClellan: Exactly, and so we host an inclusive campus culture breakfast once a month. The first Wednesday of every month, from 8:30 to 9:30. And we invite people to come and make work groups of things that they want to work on, and the Zebras came, or Darby McQueen came, and started a work group on disability on campus, but we’ve also had people start a work group on being more inclusive for trans students, faculty and staff, that’s also where we meet in our collaborative plannings for cultural heritage months, and faculty have come to that, and they plan inclusive classroom practices workshops together.
Sheena: We just get blown away every week by all of the things that are going on on campus.
John: So many good things.
Sheena: Well John, any last comments as we say farewell to Lane and thank her?
John: Yeah. A big thanks for joining us, and again, thanks for what you do. We get to look in, like we talked about, so many different things, and there’s so many professionals on campus, so many students on campus that are doing so many good things, and it’s nice to be able to highlight it. And it’s been fun for us with doing the radio show, being able to actually recognize those things, but when you start looking at it, and there’s so many things that are out there, it’s just, it’s great.
John: It really is.
Sheena: Well Lane, thank you again.
Lane McClellan: Thank you, well right back at you. Y’all are doing good work yourselves all over campus. [crosstalk 00:36:17].
Sheena: Well thank you, thank you, thank you. All right you guys, we got to take one more break, and then John and I are going to be wrapping up this afternoon. You are listening to FIT2BTIDE with Sheena and John on 90.7 The Capstone.
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John: Welcome back to FIT2BTIDE with Sheena and John on 90.7 The Capstone, and want to thank you for joining us for today’s show. We’ve got just a few minutes to wrap up here. We want to thank Lane McClellan for joining us from Crossroads, and being our guest today and bringing us so much good information about what they have going on on campus. I kid you not, Sheena, when I say this last few weeks, I’ve been just kind of blown away with the level of talent of faculty/staff, the level of talent of students.
Sheena: Correct, correct.
John: And you’re in a category all your own. I watch … I sit back and I watch you, and I do not know how you have to be a dietician. You have to eat good to have the energy to do what you do, because I’ve seen your … well, I can’t say I’ve seen your schedule, I can say I’ve seen you all across, anywhere I go on campus, Sheena’s there.
Sheena: I mean, I stay busy. I get my steps. I definitely do. But, speaking of that, I would say this upcoming week is probably what I consider my busiest week of the semester, if not the entire academic year, because it will be body appreciation week. It’s known nationally as National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, but I think it’s great that in 2006, UA decided on our campus to name it Body Appreciation Week, just so that we can have a little bit more diversity in programming, and it’s not so focused just on eating disorders in terms of the clinical aspect, but really just embracing positive body image, and having that mentality that would essentially prevent an eating disorder and provide resources for getting loved ones of concern into the interventions and help that they need.
John: I don’t want to put you on the spot in terms of numbers, but what would you say … a lot of people hear Body Awareness Week, or they hear disordered eating, and they automatically think females. What percentage would you say are guys that this issue [crosstalk 00:38:58].
Sheena: Sure. I believe from the literature that is out there right now, it’s about 10 to 15%.
John: Is that high?
Sheena: Yeah. Yeah. It’s … some of the older data’s suggesting about 10%. Over the years, it’s gone more into 10 to 15%, especially now, as some of your other eating disorders, especially when it comes to binge eating, is getting a little bit more recognized and more prevalent. We do see that in the male population, of course even with anorexia and bulimia, we see that in the male population as well. It’s interesting to see that diversity, and I think it’s great that we have been intentional as a university to create programming that addresses that diversity, too when it comes to muscle dysmorphia, and things of that nature, where it’s not just programming targeted towards women, or specifically that gender, but being applicable across the gender spectrum.
John: Right, right. That number does surprise me that it is that high. And when you say 10 to 15%, you do body dysmorphic disorder, or muscle dysmorphic disorder is kind of included in that?
Sheena: Yes, so definitely. And that’s going to be of people that are actually coming forward for help, so there’s probably so many other folks that we’re not aware of.
John: Can you explain real quickly, because you are the expert on this. Can you explain real quickly for people what that is?
Sheena: Sure. Muscle dysmorphia, body dysmorphia? Typically in our male population, it is having that obsession of the physical physique, and so you may see people that are abusing anabolic steroids, they may have just a very obsessive nature with their workouts. I actually had a patient one time who had lost his job and failed several classes because he would choose to work out several times a day versus engaging in his activities of daily living, so it’s something where you’re recognizing it as a mental health disorder when that person cannot function in their general lifestyle, because this has so much control over them.
John: Right, right. Okay. That’s just overlooked so much, and I didn’t want to take away from what this week is predominantly about, so many females that are affected by it.
Sheena: But, no. I think it’s so important to point that out, for sure. Just because we want to make sure that people know that our programming is for everybody.
John: Right. Yes.
Sheena: And thinking about some of the events that we have this week, and John we’ve got some faculty/staff involved, so if you want to come too, we’ve got … there’s a mindful eating session that’s happening at 12:00 on Tuesday at the Ferg. Dr. Linda Knoll is leading that. We also have another session that’s happening on Wednesday, there’s a guest speaker, Dr. Nicole Sigfried from Castlewood of the Highlands Eating Disorder Facility is going to be talking about body image. We’ve even got a Yoga for everybody session that’s going to be happening in Gorgas 205. And then even just having a discussion talking about the difference between just being someone who wants to eat healthy, and then when does it turn into an eating disorder?
So I think that’s going to be a great conversation piece, too.
John: Right. Great. You guys do such a good job with that.
Sheena: Well, it’s all due to great campus partners like the rec center, Crossroads, and I mean, pretty much … I feel like everybody on campus has a hand with it. Yeah.
John: Right. It is so … it’s one of those programs that has grown so much over the years that when that week comes, everybody knows what it is.
Sheena: Yeah, yeah. For sure. For sure.
John: But you guys have done such a great job with that. Hate to end today.
Sheena: I know, I know, but we got to do it. But thankfully we’ve had some great weather, and hopefully that continues this week, too. But you guys enjoy your Sunday afternoon. We always have a blast with you all, but you are listening to FIT2BTIDE with Sheena and John on 90.7 The Capstone, and we will catch you next week.