Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Connected with Campus - Impact of RAPP XXVIII

Throughout the summer as analyses are completed on the 2012-13 groups in the RAPP 9-monthAccelerating Racial Justice, and the Social Justice League, I'll share insights from the results here on the blog.

A new question we added to the post-test for RAPP XXVIII was "Has participation in RAPP XXVIII impacted your sense of connection with the University of Cincinnati?  How and/or how not?"

Four-fifths of the group gave an unequivocal and literal yes - RAPP positively impacted their sense of connection with UC.  Here are some of their comments on how RAPP did this:
"I felt zero connection to the university.  I'm a non-traditional student who went to class and went home.  Now I know I have a family, a safe space, and the university is a living organism to me instead of a lifeless slab of concrete."
"At first when I arrived at UC I was another face in the crowd. Now I know people.  I'm not just a commuter and I do plan on joining more clubs."
"I'm glad I became a member of RAPP, I've expanded my knowledge about the world I live in, and I've also become a smarter and wiser person because of it.  Because of RAPP, next year I plan on joining more groups where I can apply the skills I've acquired through RAPP 28!!"
"I am proud that UC continues RAPP.  It lets me know that 'inclusivity' and 'acceptance' and 'diversity' aren't just filler words.  Some people are trying."
"I feel connected with students who are RAPP alumni and I get respect from faculty & staff.  I have a great understanding of the inequality in how this institution is run and leaders' positive and negative influence.  I have a greater awareness of my fellow students' demographics & issues and of programs related to RAPP."
Those who did not say a full "yes" to sense of connection with UC shared ways in which RAPP positively impacted their experience and and feelings toward the university:
"It has brought a positive to my feelings about the university."
"Not so much with the university itself but definitely with some of the students (RAPPmates) and faculty (facilitators)."
"It has made me realize that I am closer to the African American community on campus than I thought I was because many of our experiences are similar."
"I suppose. I'm NOT a school spirit person, but this program has a lot of value & is unique to UC."
While RAPP may do something people find risky for the institution - acknowledging that as an institution we practice the same oppression we're taught in our society - we also succeed at helping people connect with it.  We open up the complex ways that we work to combat the oppression we've been taught and are steeped in daily, just as we ask RAPPers to join us in doing as individuals.

It may initially seem like an unusual way to develop Bearcat Pride, but it certainly is a powerful and impactful way!


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