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 Kupita/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!
SOCIAL JUSTICE ADVOCATE 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 to spread awareness and understanding of underrepresented populations and to strive for diversity and inclusion within the hall, this position is called the– Social Justice Advocate. This individual is responsible for promoting the awareness and celebration of diversity in the hall(s). They also:
- Attends all weekly Executive Board and Hall Council meetings
- Votes as a member of Hall Council
- Attends KIC weekly meetings
- Coordinates and facilitates at least one program per semester touching upon issues or celebrating diversity in the hall
- Informs their hall of all campus-wide programming dealing with the topic of multiculturalism
- Represents the needs and interests of underrepresented/underserved populations in the residence halls
- Serves as a member of KIC’s Advocacy Committee
KSU Discovering our story
KSU Discovering Our Story is a program series put on by the Social Justice Committee within the Department of Residence Services. The series provides opportunities for students to learn about different cultures and identities and engage in conversations that will help promote respect, acceptance and understanding of all students. The KSU Discovering Our Story series focuses on diversity and social justice issues including but not limited to race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic status and political affiliation. The program series supports the University’s mission of educating students for “responsible citizenship” and “ethical and humanitarian values.” The KSU Discovering Our Story series is advertised in the residence halls and all students are welcomed to attend.
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 COMMITTEE
The Social Justice Committee works to provide an array of professional development opportunities, in-services and training sessions focused on social justice and diversity related topics for all students as well as professional and paraprofessional staffs. The committee strives to raise awareness on social justice related topics, concerns and issues in efforts to create more diverse, inclusive communities across campus.