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How do I voice a concern?

The Department of Dance aspires to create a community built on respect, equity, collaboration and belonging. We strive to promote an environment welcoming to people of all cultures, races, sexes, abilities, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, ages, religions, and economic statuses. If you have an experience within the department- with a professor, adviser, staff member, or peer, that does not reflect our goal of respect and inclusion, please inform us. 

How do I voice a concern about a course I am enrolled in or something that happened outside of class? 

  1. If you feel comfortable, contact your professor. 

    • If you schedule a time to meet with the professor, feel free to bring someone with you as support. 
  2. If you are uncomfortable with contacting your professor, or you spoke to them but you desire further action, make an appointment with the chair of the department, Christina Sunardi. 
    • The chair will discuss with you what might be the best course of action. 
    • The chair will speak with the professor, unless you do not want them to. Then the chair will report back to you. 
    • If you schedule a time to meet with the chair, feel free to bring someone with with you as support. 
  3. If you are not comfortable with either of these options, contact a representative from either student group: The Arts Diversity Council, or the Dance Student Association. They will take the complaint to the chair and be a liaison for you. 

*Note: In student course evaluations conducted through the University of Washington Instructional Assessment System (IASystem), there are two components:

  1. A section in which students give the instructor numerical scores for various aspects of their teaching.
  2. A section in which students can write in comments.  

While the Department of Dance Chair reviews the score portion, the Chair does not necessarily see the student comments. While the Chair can access the score portion through the IASystem, the Chair can only see the student comments if the instructor shares the comments with the Chair. If students have a concern that they would like to communicate to the Chair, students should follow the process outlined above.  

What can I do in the moment? 

It can be very difficult to know how to address things as they happen. We recommend this strategy in for addressing microaggressions, developed by Ganote, Chung and Souza (2015). 

Open The Front Door :

  • OBSERVE: Describe clearly and succinctly what you see happening.
  • THINK: State what you think about it.
  • FEEL: express your feelings about the situation.
  • DESIRE: Assert what you would like to happen.

Example: You are in a dance class and you hear the teacher tell another student “wow, you just looked bad doing that dance!”

O.T.F.D Response: (Observe) When you told that dancer that they looked bad (Think) that made me think that you are judging their body negatively. (Feel) It makes me feel uncomfortable to think that you are judging my body or other bodies in the space as “good” or “bad,” (Desire) and I wish you could have chosen a different or more nuanced word to more helpfully describe what you were trying to communicate.

Example: You are in the hallway in Meany and you hear another student say "That's so gay."

O.T.F.D Response: (Observe) When you used the word “gay” as a negative descriptor (Think) it makes me think that you don’t have respect for LGBTQIA+ people. (Feel) This makes me feel uncomfortable and unsafe, (Desire) and I wish that you would think more carefully about your choice of words.

>> More strategies for dealing with microaggressions 

How do I make a suggestion to the department? 

Have a suggestion or a solution? We want to hear it! You can drop the suggestion in our suggestion box in the hallway, to the left of the chalk board. You can also give the suggestion to a member of the ADC or DSA, or a member of the Departmental Diversity Council.

What are other resources on campus available to me? 

You can find a list of University Resources here, as well as a list of contacts.