How is Student Affairs Acting on its Divisional Commitment to Diversity, Equity + Social Justice?

Gonzaga Campus

December 08, 2020
Colleen Quinn Vandenboom, PhD

As a division, Student Affairs is committed to fostering an environment for our Gonzaga University students to learn and develop into their best selves. We believe this is achieved by focusing on three elements, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Experiential Education, and Health and Wellbeing. Each of these are a tenant of Jesuit Education, and also represent best practice in our field. 

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Aware of our place and responsibility in an increasingly interconnected world, we walk in solidarity with others, embracing the value and dignity of every member of our community. As Father General Arturo Sosa, S.J. affirms, Jesuit higher education “involves recognizing diversity as a constitutive dimension of a full human life.” 

In Student Affairs we embrace this commitment for both our students and our staff within the division. For Gonzaga students, we provide a wide array of opportunities for students to learn more about their own identities and the identities of others, while growing in their cultural fluency. For Student Affairs staff we participate in on-going dialogue, conferences and workshops to increase our cultural fluency and awareness. We have also made an institutional commitment to assessing how our programs impact social justice and dignity. 

Here are some of the ways we are acting out our commitment:

  • Every staff member in Student Affairs completed the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) and Intercultural Conflict Style Inventory (ICS) before December 1, 2020.
  • Every staff member in Student Affairs is expected to complete Diversity.edu by January 15, 2021.
  • This summer SA hosted white and BIPOC affinity groups for people to come together and learn.
  • This summer over 35 SA staff joined in So You Want to Talk About Race? Guided Book Clubs.
  • Every department has been asked to complete an assessment project around the topic of diversity and social justice.
  • We have examined and reimagined our hiring practices to recruit a wide variety of potential new employees.
  • We have created a resource website for new staff to find community and connection across all identity groups.
  • The leadership team invited Reverend Jamie Washington to facilitate multiple dialogue sessions.
  • We have incorporated DEI-related job specific standards into all SA staff's performance reviews.
  • The January 11 Colloquium, a mandatory SA event will feature a divisional debrief of the IDI and other conversations to increase our awareness.
  • We have committed to conducting a divisional assessment similar to the NERCHE Self-Assessment Rubric for the Institutionalization of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Higher Education.
  • Divisional/Department Leadership Team and the Professional Development Committee have committed to providing other supplementary opportunities throughout the year.