Recognizing differences differently.
That’s the goal of the USF Diversity Resource Center and Retention and Diversity Director Garien Hudson. The remodeled space in Trinity Hall provides a colorful, energetic and yet peaceful environment in which students of all races and creeds can connect.
There’s a relaxing pit of multi-colored balls for conversation, cozy furniture for lounging, big-screen TV to watch, café table and chairs for snacking and colorful wall wraps proclaiming the center’s mantra—peace, unity and every student’s right and opportunity to seize his or her special moment at the university.
To fulfill the mission, “Creating teachable moments to recognize differences differently,” Hudson will work to promote equity and diversity principles in the campus community. Goals will be to encourage a diverse student population and student leadership, while developing resources to improve the academic success of minority groups at USF.
“The Diversity Resource Center is both an idea and a physical space,” Hudson said. “The office and lounge offer students a safe place on campus to discuss issues and be supported when facing academic and social challenges. The center office and lounge also will serve as a hub for programming, offer resources to students, faculty and staff and coordinate diversity initiatives across campus.”
At base of the center is the idea that cultural competence means understanding and responding to the many populations that make up the university. Best practices set forth by the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education have been applied to produce some powerful strategies.
It will all work to break down barriers, inculcate diversity at all university levels and ensure our community knows all students will be welcomed, nurtured and grow personally and intellectually at the University of Saint Francis.