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.  

  • Equity issues: All students, staff, and faculty should enjoy rights to the same opportunities inclusive of their cultural/ethnic background.
  • Accessibility issues: Students, staff, and faculty many times face barriers to access the institution and its services.  These barriers have historically impacted those from underrepresented groups at disproportionate rates.
  • Retention issues: Students, staff, and faculty from historically underrepresented groups have had a lower retention rate than those from the dominant culture.
  • Educational development and environment issues: As the university is responsible to help create an educated citizenry, students who understand themselves and others, and have the ability to work and thrive in a diverse environment will be better equipped to face the opportunities and challenges of the next generation.
  • Enlightened self-interest:  The demographics and needs of society and our campus are changing and will continue to change.  The customers and clients of tomorrow will not look like, think like, or be like the customers of yesterday and today.  If we hope to be relevant to the new population, we need to be in tune with both unique and common needs.
  • The ITRTTD Factor: It’s The Right Thing To Do!

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.