Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
The Division of Student Affairs will enhance a diverse, inclusive and welcoming community through programming initiatives, strategies to deepen professional staff competencies, and realizing efforts to recruit, hire, retain and advance a socially conscious staff.
The Planting Seeds as We Grow into the Future of Mind, Culture, and Spirit mural acts as a voice for many who feel unheard among the deafening noise of the established order. It depicts a portrait of a community which finds itself in turmoil, that which characterizes this period at the University and throughout the world.
Student Affairs initiated the creation of the Diversity Activities Board, a student-led programming board that strives to provide enriching and engaging educational programming in the areas of social justice, diversity, and inclusion. Highlights of the 2016-2017 academic year include the first Asia Night and first Hindu festival of Holi Celebration. DAB also facilitated Dear World, an interactive program that showcases unique St. Thomas stories and widens conversations around social issues, mental health, and identity.
Student Affairs supported a student-led initiative to rename space in the Anderson Student Center after Father John Henry “Harry” Dorsey, S.S.J., a pioneering African-American priest of the early 20th century and St. Thomas’ first African-American student.
Student Affairs partnered with colleagues across campus to create a webpage with resources to support undocumented students. The site expresses St. Thomas's commitment to supporting undocumented students and students with undocumented family members, who may face unique challenges, and provides resources that may be helpful to these members of the St. Thomas community.
Student Affairs collaborated with faculty partners to offer Culture Stew Teach-ins for the campus community, a forum for people to come to discuss complicated, current issues. Topics included Black Lives Matter and the Philando Castile shooting, Dakota-Access Pipeline, Immigration, and interracial friendships. 275 people attended. Completed surveys indicated that 91% of respondents either agree or strongly agree that attending the event helped them recognize the importance of, and barriers to, creating equitable and inclusive communities.