Equity, Inclusion and Intentional Engagement

Dear Members of the Class of 2023,

The Offices of Equity and Inclusion and Intercultural Education are excited to welcome you all to Bates College. Your arrival is one of the highpoints of our year. We are delighted to already be working with some of you who are in our Bobcat First! program. We will welcome our international students on Friday, and the rest of you will arrive on Monday! Over the next two weeks, we will have the opportunity to engage with all of you in some capacity. Please know that our time and attention are focused on your transition into a positive first-semester experience here at Bates.

You may already know that you are among the most diverse incoming first-year classes in Bates history. This is not only an exciting moment, but a terribly important one. This is the moment when we get to expand how we understand each other and how we impact the world. Our offices are prepared to support you as you explore a new space, meet new people, encounter new cultures, and embrace your new community. As you know, college is a huge undertaking. Everyone will experience the discomfort of newness, new people, new ways of being, and new expectations. You will all learn about yourselves in relationship to each other. Value the relationships that seem difficult as much as those that come easily. We are here to help.

There is much to think about as you enter the college, and specifically Bates College. We would like you to take a few moments to think about who you want to BE while you are here. You have the opportunity to participate in so many opportunities in the next four years. When you make those decisions, we invite you to challenge yourself. Pick things that you have not done before. Choose people who challenge you to critically think about why and how you engage those around you. Be willing to be uncomfortable around topics that are unfamiliar to you and to how you understand yourself. Explore and be curious about cultures, identities and lived experiences that are different than yours. Intentionally engage conversations about difference and your impact on other people.

Our overarching goal for our campus community is for each of us to actively cultivate an environment where everyone feels wanted, welcomed, physically safe, valued and appreciated. We are here to help assure that students have the tools to fulfill that goal. We also look to you, as future leaders at Bates, to do the work necessary to contribute to a college experience where everyone knows they belong. Bates College is a doorway to the world. We invite you to enter with excitement and openness. Your journey here is limitless.

Again, welcome… Bring your difference… each of you will make Bates College a better place!

Dr. Noelle Chaddock, Vice President of Equity and Inclusion

Julisa De Los Santos, Director & Associate Dean of the Office of Intercultural Education