Commitment To Diversity
The Department of Residence Services at Kent State University recognizes the benefits derived from the inclusion of diversity in our residence halls. Residence Services actively encourages participation by members of underrepresented groups based on race, ethnicity, age, gender, religious preferences, sexual orientation, disability or identification as a veteran in all our programs and activities.
Multicultural & Diversity Programs
Exploring and learning to live within a large and diverse community is an exciting and fast-paced experience; that’s why the residence hall staff offers support to help each residential community member develop and refine skills in communication and interaction. These skills and experiences allow us to celebrate and showcase the differences that help make the residence halls at Kent State University a vibrant and stimulating place to live and learn. With this in mind, our staff and students present and develop: programs, activities, films, lectures, workshops, exhibits and other activities that enhance cultural awareness. Several key programs and activities are outlined below.
Kupita/Transiciones Student of Color Social
The Department of Residence Services and the Student Multicultural Center collaborate in a welcome social for our incoming Kupita/Transiciones students. The purpose of this social is to provide opportunities for newly admitted students of color to interact with each other and to get introduced to university administrators and Residence Services hall staff. This special event typically takes place the Monday before freshmen move-in day giving Kuptia/Transiciones students a chance to meet residence hall staff before campus is flooded with students.
Kent Interhall Council (KIC) Diversity Committee
In conjunction with KIC, the Department of Residence Services’ Social Justice Team works with the Diversity Committee to promote and provide a safe and inclusive environment that brings to life Residence Services’ core values: Student Success, Integrity, Inclusive Communities and Responsible Decision Making to offer support and to enhance programming activities that build and nurture our residence hall students to think critically and broadly about diversity and multiculturalism. Residence Hall students interested in getting involved to plan and develop diversity programs for the halls are strongly encouraged to do so by contacting the Director of Student Relations who oversees this committee within Kent Interhall Council at (330) 672-3121. The only piece missing is YOU!
Director of Multiculturalism position
Each residence hall has a Hall Council governing board which oversees the programming and overall climate of their hall community. The hall council executive board includes a position specific to the goal of incorporating diversity and inclusion, called the– Director of Multiculturalism. This individual is responsible for promoting the awareness and celebration of multicultural issues in the hall(s). He or she also:
- Attends all weekly Executive Board and Hall Council meetings
- Votes member of Hall Council
- Attends KIC weekly meetings
- Coordinates and facilitates at least one program per semester that address issues of cultural diversity and underrepresented cultures in the hall
- Keeps the Hall Council informed of all campus-wide programming centered around multiculturalism
- Represents the needs and interests of underrepresented/underserved populations in the residence halls
- Serves as a member of KIC’s Diversity Committee
Campus Conversations is a program series hosted by the Department of Residence Services. This series provides opportunities for students to engage in conversations that promote dialogue and understanding, which promotes the education and understanding of human difference and experience, nurtures an environment of respect for all students, and ensures an environment of equality and civility. Campus Conversations include topics surrounding diversity and social justice issues including race, sexual orientation, women’s issues, cultural stereotypes, politics, and other relevant topics. This program series supports the University’s mission of educating students for “responsible citizenship” and “ethical and humanitarian values,” which are often tested by the challenge of human difference. Campus conversation programs are advertised and showcased in the Student Success Series Program booklet provided to first-year students.
In support of the Kent State University and Department of Residence Services missions, residence hall staff seek to foster an environment of civic engagement among the students living in the residence halls. To support this effort, Residence Services has partnered with the Office of Community Service, Learning and Volunteerism since 2008 to pair each residence hall with a local non-profit community agency to provide students with community service opportunities and an understanding of the purpose/need for the agency. These relationships have yielded over 10,000 hours of service by residence hall students and have brought recognition to the individual residence halls! Through these experiences students living the KSU residence halls are reminded throughout the semester of the importance of service and giving back to the community where they currently live!
We encourage our residence hall students to contact their hall staff to learn more about the community partnership in the hall where they live.
Social Justice Team
Led by Katie Sorokas, Assistant Director for Residence Education, the Social Justice Team works to provide an intensive array of developmental opportunities and experiences for our residence hall students as well as professional and paraprofessional staff designed to deepen their understanding of the dynamics of oppression at the individual, group and cultural systems as a way to refine one’s skills and cultural competencies to create an inclusive community.
Collaboration across campus
In support of the Department of Residence Services’ mission statement, the Social Justice Team provides leadership for developing and implementing a variety of initiatives designed to strengthen the development of communities that honor human differences – both in the hall community and throughout the University. To accomplish this fully, the Social Justice Team encourages and actively seeks to collaborate with campus organizations and departments throughout the University community. The Social Justice Team can assist organizations in reaching their goals for the year in several ways including: assistance with advertising, providing space to host programs/speakers/meetings, and/or in partnering to produce a program or activity. To inquire about specific opportunities for collaborations, please contact Katie Sorokas, Assistant Director for Residence Education at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inclusive Action Movement (I AM)
Under the auspice of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, this division is charged with facilitating Inclusive Action Movement, a major programming initiative reaching the entire Kent State University system. The mission of Inclusive Action Movement is to unite the greater Kent State community through personal actions that build relationships and promote acceptance, understanding and mutual respect for one another. Students, faculty and staff of Kent State University are encouraged to participate in this initiative as each and every person at Kent State has the power to be role a model of inclusive excellence, a core value and philosophy of Kent State University.
Throughout the academic year, the Department of Residence Services works with the Division of Diversity Equity and Inclusion on many initiatives and programs that focus on enriching the campus environment. Inclusive Action Movement is just one of those programs! Residence Services is committed to providing a nurturing environment that supports the total development of each and every diverse student population so they can get connected and achieve their educational goals.
To learn more about Inclusive Action Movement visit: http://www.kent.edu/diversity/inclusive-actions-movement