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K-State Today

November 13, 2015

Student leadership meets to discuss opportunities to support, celebrate diversity

Submitted by Andy Hurtig, Student Body President Kansas State University

With the help of the Black Student Union, Office of Diversity and Office of Student Life, we had a wonderful opportunity to be proactive as a campus community early Thursday morning in the Tadtman Board Room at the Alumni Center. We gathered in support of one another to recognize the value each one of us has in our unique perspectives and the sense of place that each one of us deserves.

At K-State, we pride ourselves on maintaining a culture of "family" — meaning inclusiveness, understanding and appreciation for one another. While it is admirable that we take such pride in using a word like "family" to describe our campus community, we would be remiss to assume that we don't also have some level of intolerance and prejudices occurring on our campus as well.

In this time of unrest with racial tension across the nation, we gathered with students and advisors from our diverse multicultural and international communities, to acknowledge the reality that there is always work to be done. We brought to light the barriers that stand in opposition to our principles of inclusion and concept of family. We shared breakfast while identifying and discussing opportunities for improvement that we see here on our campus. We came up several ideas for supporting and celebrating diversity such as:

  • Cultural competency courses,
  • Cultural awareness facilitation training,
  • A more diverse faculty, staff, and administration, and
  • Developing a university campaign to highlight how culture and diversity adds value to the educational experience and supportive environment that we are proud of here at K-State.

We were thrilled to have President Kirk Schulz and Dr. Pat Bosco, dean of students, join us for a few moments and emphasize the importance of having this be an ongoing conversation on our campus and developing action plans that reinforce the intentions of our words.

While events around the country bring magnitude to this dialogue on our campus, we are energized and committed to working toward a better, more inclusive K-State of the future.

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