Diversity Initiative

The Premise

Since 1) UHDS houses approximately 80% of the first year freshmen attending OSU, and 2) since the first year is the most vulnerable year for students transitioning to college, and 3) since historically underrepresented students have additional transitional obstacles when attending a institution with an overwhelming percentage of the dominant culture...What potential impact could UHDS make if we could focus our existing efforts to make UHDS environments increasingly safe and nurturing for students from historically underrepresented communities? The UHDS Diversity Initiative is intended to increase the level of comfort, satisfaction, and academic success for students from historically underrepresented communities and thereby increase the student recruitment and retention.

An Inclusive Environment

University Housing and Dining Services staff members foster, support, and advocate for an increasingly inclusive environment and community through understanding, enhancing, promoting, and celebrating the uniqueness of our student residents and department staff.

We will create an inclusive environment and community through a commitment to equity issues regarding the free and safe expression of sex, gender identity, gender expression, race, color, ethnicity, religious affiliation or lack thereof, disability status, socio-economic status, poverty status, sexual and affectional orientation, international students and cultures, language fluency, veteran status, non-traditional-aged students, and student parents.  

Greater diversity is a strategic goal for UHDS due to:

Diversity Action Plan 1.2

The UHDS Diversity Action Plan 1.2 is intended to be a dynamic document that represents the initial thinking and effort around creating a more welcoming and inclusive environment. We have intentionally begun with a focus on African-American Students, Latino(a) Students, and International Students, with Native American Students being added in the Fall of 2008. This allows for us to 1) address issues with students whose population is growing in the community and at OSU, 2) gain some traction by not spreading our thinking/research/effort too thin too quickly.

Feedback on the UHDS Diversity Action Plan 1.2 and/or process are welcome.

Implementation Priorities

For 2011-12, Four (4) Implementation Priorities were identified to provide additional prioritization and focus to the UHDS Diversity Action Plan 1.2.

From a list of 87 possibilities, the UHDS Diversity Initiative Members narrowed their focus to address four (4) implementation priorities and associated subgroups for the 2011-12 academic year. These are the areas for which we believe we should hold ourselves accountable as a department.

Implementation Priorities

From a list of 87 possibilities, the UHDS Diversity Initiative Members narrowed their focus to address four (4) implementation priorities and associated subgroups for the 2011-12 academic year. These are the areas for which we believe we should hold ourselves accountable as a department.

Cultural Cuisine

Description:

Celebrate cultural diversity through culturally relevant food for the campus community

Task Force Members:

Rich Turnbull*,  Megan Full, Teresita Alvarez, Jacqueline Chambers

Goals:

  • Introduce and educate individuals to food from different regions, cultures, and traditions
  • Understand how to meet the needs of the incoming international and traditionally underrepresented student populations
  • Celebrate a journey through culture and cuisine by hosting special events
  • Provide familiar foods in our retail outlets to meet the needs of students from various cultures and communities
  • Establish the Food from Home Program

Projects- Past, Present, Future:

  • New restaurants (i.e. Cooper's Creek BBQ, Zephyros, etc.)
  • Cultural cuisine events, including Soul Food Cafe, Taste of the Mediterranean, Taste of the Indian Ocean, Taste of Southeast Asia, Sabor Latino, The Community Grocery Project (Familiar foods from around the world)
  • Future: the Food from Home Project

Contacts:

Meeting time/Next meeting:

Ad-hoc

Time commitment / involvement opportunities:

1 hour a month

Opportunities: Additional assistance in convening and providing ideas for the Food from Home Program

International Student Experience and Culture

Description:

This group is tasked with reviewing and providing input on addressing issues (arrival, roommate conflict, language barriers, processes and procedures, etc) directly related to the on-campus experience of international students.

Task Force Members:

Brian Stroup*, Jacqueline Chambers, Dawn Snyder, Thet Mar Win, Rachael Weber, Nikki Hinshaw 

Goals:

  • Accumulating a list of services all international students receive on campus
  • Develop structure of when training for professional staff on inter cultural communication should take place throughout the year for UHDS
  • Ensure international students staying on-campus have a positive experience
  • Support international student programming across campus

Projects- Past, Present, Future:

  • Support for Campus International Welcome Center
  • Taste of Southeast Asia: a journey through culture and cuisine (November 2008)
  • Taste of the Mediterranean: a journey through culture and cuisine (November 2009)
  • Taste of the Indian Ocean: a journey through culture and cuisine (November 2010)
  • International Student On-Campus Experience assessment and survey (current)

Contacts:

Meeting times:

    E-mail meeting convener for details

Time commitment / involvement opportunities:

    Minimal time commitment - monthly meetings last approximately an hour; opportunities for involvement range from full subgroup participation to assistance with an International Education Week event, etc.

Retaining and Hiring Qualified Professionals from Historically Underrepresented Communities

Description

This group is tasked with increasing capacity to support and retain student and professional staff from historically underrepresented groups. We commit to research innovative ideas in regards to recruiting for employment opportunities at OSU, in order to reach and obtain a more diverse applicant pool for available positions.

Task Force Members

Kerry McQuillin*, Jennifer Viña*, Eric Hansen, Teresita Alvarez, Valerie Mouw, Nancy Raskauskas

Goals

  • Create a work climate and environment that is designed to help all employees, including those from historically underrepresented communities to be successful.
  • Increase competencies necessary to invite and attract people from historically underrepresented communities to work for University Housing & Dining Services.

Projects

  • Developed UHDS Human Relations Advisory Group (past)
  • Piloted and implemented Search Advocate Policy, requiring a Search Advocate on all unclassified positions (past)
  • Pilot Training for Search Advocates and Chairs for all UHDS positions (present)
  • Exploring and developing expansion of Search Advocate Policy to include classified searches (present)
  • Develop Professional Faculty Search Checklists (present)
  • Trained staff to become Racial Aikido facilitators (past)
  • Developed Multicultural Resource Guide for orientation of faculty and staff from historically underrepresented communities (past)
  • Assess how we can better serve our current faculty and staff from historically underrepresented communities (ongoing)
  • Explore innovative ideas regarding the use of social media to post available employment opportunities at OSU to reach the most diverse audience possible (future)

Contacts

Kerry McQuillin

Jennifer Viña

Time commitment / involvement opportunities

  • Minimal time commitment - twice monthly meetings that last approximately an hour; opportunities for involvement range from full subgroup participation to attendance of campus and/or community events.

Student Leaders In Community

Description:

The Student Leaders in Community implementation priority seeks to engage student leaders in development and growth in their knowledge of themselves and those who are different from them. The efforts of Student Leaders in Community work with student leaders' curiosity, energy, and interest in creating learning opportunities in Oregon State University's residential communities and exploring subjects of difference.

Task Force Members:

Teresita Alvarez, Dawn Snyder, Jeffrey Tsang , Christine Nguyen, Brandi Douglas, Kathryn Magura, and Katie Doran 

Goals:

  • To support students in exploration of self in regards to identity, values, and beliefs
  • To expand students' understanding of one's specific social identity and what that identity means in relation to others and the institution
  • To increase students' awareness of different lived experience of OSU general populations
  • For students to recognize and identify how to act individually and communally to create inclusive environments, as well as understand the necessity of doing so
  • Through formal and informal efforts, support students from traditionally marginalized backgrounds in their roles as leaders

Projects

  • Develop and implement Building Inclusive Communities Workshop Series, a three-session series for self-identified student leaders in UHDS to explore and engage in learning about identity and issues of difference, including oppression and privilege (ongoing);
  • Develop and implement Beyond BIC sessions, which are topic-specific sessions available to student leaders who have completed the Building Inclusive Communities Workshop Series to explore issues around a specific aspect of diversity (ongoing); 
  • Support and create UHDS training efforts for student staff (ongoing);
  • Support and create training efforts for positional student leaders through the Residence Hall Association (RHA) and Hall Council (past);
  • Support the continued development and success of the Community Relations Facilitator peer education program (ongoing);
  • Provide support for Residential Education Student Staff Diversity Work Group (past);
  • Support the growth and progress of the Gender Inclusive Living communities program (ongoing); and
  • Collaborate with other implementation priorities, units and programs in support of student leader development (ongoing).

Contact:

Christopher Hughbanks

Time commitment / involvement opportunities:

  • Attending and contributing at monthly meetings (one hour)
  • Supporting the development of trainings for staff and student leaders (time commitment is dependent on project)
  • Facilitating a Building Inclusive Communities Workshop Series or Beyond BIC session (10-20 hours total, with specific time commitments to be further specified)