Common Ground was created as a sub-set of Code Red, a program meant to foster greater tolerance and acceptance of all students, faculty and staff regardless of the individual's race, age, color, religion, national origin, gender, disability, sexual orientation, political beliefs, or veteran status. In the fall of 2013, the Office of Diversity Programming chose to rename Code Red to Common Ground.
The history of the Striving for Common Ground Values Statement:
- Common Ground is the Fort Lewis College version of a resolution of respect or campus creed created by and for the students at FLC in the academic year 2009-10. The draft was created to localize and personalize the nationwide Anti-Defamation League’s Resolution of Respect that Code Red has used on campus for its bias-awareness and anti-discrimination events since 2007.
- Code Red held a campus-wide forum to gather input about ideas for the document and what our campus community believes in, and then formed a volunteer student committee to gather feedback and refine the document. This panel of 8 volunteer students presented the document to their classes, and to other classes that would let them, and distributed feedback forms to gauge student interest. The initial sample set of almost 250 students from more than 11 classes and majors produced results that were undeniably in favor of the document.
- Code Red intern Dan Riecks recorded the data from the students, and ran analysis on it (with the help of FLC Statistics Professor Sue Kraus) to ensure that the sampling was accurate. The IRB granted exempt status for the study, concluding that it did not ask for sensitive information from students and that testing methods were sound. The revised document was presented to additional classes, and later to ASFLC. Senate members in the winter 2010 voted not to endorse the document, requesting that more freshman students provide input before approval.
- Code Red facilitators surveyed an additional 4 classes (80 respondents) for their feedback and senator Noel Altaha wrote a resolution to the ASFLC requesting their endorsement during the Winter term of 2011. The document began the official endorsement process in 2011 in honor of our 2011 centennial celebration.
- A banner of the document was made and had its debut during out Centennial Celebration Diversity & Intercultural Dialogue Conference, "Empower the Dream, Inspire the Change" in March of 2011. Handouts of the document began circulating at events, during Preview Weekend, and will be shared during Orientation, Fall 2011.