SAN DIEGO -- As the San Diego State University (SDSU) community celebrates men's basketball victories and continues its search for university President Stephen Weber's replacement, the campus Office of Diversity has started a campaign intended to foster an environment that supports, appreciates and respects diversity.
"Pledge Diversity" is a diversity and inclusion series, created by the school's Office of the President and Associated Students (AS), that calls upon the campus community to action in their commitment to creating a safer and more inclusive campus.
Those who choose to participate in the program sign the "Diversity & Inclusion Pledge," which is an official university document that signifies the participant's individual commitment to diversity and inclusion at SDSU.
"Diversity is more than being aware of the differences of all people, but embracing them as well as actively creating a campus that supports and understands the diversity of it's students," said Janelle Fejeran and Channelle McNutt, AS diversity commissioners. "The pledge embodies the very essence and environment we are trying to create at SDSU."
The pledge form, which is available on the university's diversity website, also gives participants the opportunity to answer the question, "What does diversity mean to you?"
Those who choose to include a statement answering the question will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win from a selection of prizes.
The Pledge Diversity program kicked off on the campus Monday with a pledge signing ceremony on the campus, and will continue with the "ALL-ONE Kick-Off Event" on Monday, March 21, from 6:30 to 9:30 pm.
The event will include entertainment and refreshments, and attendees who sign the pledge will receive a copy of the pledge on parchment paper as well as a "Pledge Diversity" button to wear.
"ALL-ONE" is a new series of campus events which will engage the campus community in conversations about diversity. The university's fourth annual Diversity Conference, held April 29-May 1, will be one such event.
The conference, which is open to the public, encourages participants to "step outside of themselves and come explore the complex issues surrounding diversity in today’s world."
The "ALL-ONE" program, Diversity Conference, and other such initiatives are all steps that have been taken by the school to ensure a safer environment for its very diverse population. SDSU is the region's oldest, largest, most diverse institution, and in recent years, has received a number of commendations for its commitment to diversity.
Within the LGBT community on campus alone, a number of initiatives have been taken on over the last couple of years to ensure a safe environment for LGBT students including the Safe Zones program, Lavender Graduation, LGBT Studies Minor, and the annual Rainbow Flag Raising Ceremony.
The school was also named one of the top 20 LGBT friendly institutions in the nation on CampusPride's Campus Climate Index in 2010.
SDSU ranks sixth in the nation and second in the state of California for bachelor's degrees awarded to Hispanics, and ranks 25th in the nation for "racial diversity," according to US News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges 2011" guide.
More information about diversity on the SDSU campus and the Pledge Diversity program can be found online.