Goals and Actions
Goals - The Department of Residence Life has established the following goals for 2010-2012. These goals are based on the University's strategic plan for diversity (objectives), institutional and departmental assessment, and feedback from Diversity Committee members and others. For a full listing of strategies, goals, and actions, click here.
- We will continue to explore the physical and personal environment of our Department settings (central office, residence halls, and apartment complexes) to asses how we can make it more welcoming to students, staff, and visitors.
- We will develop our training program for all Residence Life staff that provides best practices for helping all members of the Residence Life community feel safe, respected, welcomed, and celebrated.
- We will conduct a formal climate assessment for residence hall and apartment students.
- We will seek candidates who show a genuine interest and/or demonstrate a commitment t social justice and diverse populations for employment within the Department.
- We will explore avenues and potential means of increasing the recruitment and retention of students from underrepresented populations in the residence halls and apartment complexes.
- We will encourage Residence Life staff and student leaders to understand their own practices and traditional and create welcoming communities for all people.
- We will dedicate specific funding for diversity related events, activities, and programs as incentive and support for residence hall and apartment staff to focus in this area.
- We will take specific steps to better welcome and help new apartment tenants acclimate to the University and the Fargo-Moorhead community each semester.
Specific Accomplishments 2010-2012
- Developed an on-line customer service survey/comments area and advertised it via posters and business cards
- Designated as many common-area restrooms as possible as gender-neutral
- Created permanent, framed mission statements and posted them in the residence halls (apartments and the central office will be completed soon)
- Budgeted funds to support campus-wide diversity programs including Take Back the Night and Kate Bornstein
- Revised job posting and interview questions to better recruit and hire staff who are committed to working with and supporting others with diverse experiences and backgrounds
- Audited and revised position descriptions to include demonstrated commitment to working with a diverse population and continually develop skills and knowledge in this area
- Incorporated descriptions of various cultural holidays into the Residence Life newsletter
- Established a system to encourage and coordinate individual and group utilization of the Niskanen Community Center
- Sponsored and coordinated the Residence Life Celebration (picnic and games) that includes all on-campus residents as well as Department staff and their families
- Collaborated with International Programs and other offices to support the Transfer and International Exchange Student (TIES) Community as well as offer a study abroad program in Dinan Hall
- Hosted a welcome dinner with RAs and the new international students from their floors
- Presented information about Residence Life as well as apartment living at each international student orientation
- Developed pages on the Residence Life website for diversity information
- Facilitated Communities of Respect training with all Residence Life Staff and incorporated it into Residence Life new employee orientation
- Sponsored open discussions with underrepresented student groups regarding their experiences living on campus and ways to better asses their needs
- Collaborated with Safe Zone staff to develop a roommate matching process for LGBTQA students
- Established a Departmental vision and commitment statements regarding diversity and social justice
- Recognized by the Division of Equity, Diversity, and Global Outreach with a Green and Golden Globe Award
- Began exploratory project of other institutions to learn how we can continue to move forward toward our vision and goals
Diversity Strategies, Goals, and Actions 2010-2012
Objective 1: Institutional Commitment - Create an environment where everyone feels welcome, respected, and safe.
GOAL 1A: We will continue to explore the physical and personal environment of our Department settings (central office, residence halls, and apartment complexes) to assess how we can make it more welcoming to students, staff, and visitors.
- We will set clearer expectations regarding customer service (including when to assist a student directly and when to refer to another person).
- We will develop a survey to be given to each apartment tenant when they check in and be returned with their check-in paperwork.
- We will implement a "secret shopper" program that would provide feedback based on customer service expectations.
- We will develop a customer service survey to be permanently placed on our website.
- We will create a permanent space in each residence hall and apartment complex to post the Department's mission and diversity statements ("Welcome Home" and "Together We Can Make a Difference").
- We will create a space on our website to post information about the Residence Life Diversity committee and our work in this area.
- We will provide information regarding a commitment to diversity in the showrooms during Orientation.
Objective 2: Learning and Pedagogy - Develop an inclusive- learning environment that guides students, faculty, and staff to think critically about diversity, equity, and community in the classroom and workplace.
GOAL 2A: We will develop our training program for all Residence Life staff that provides best practices for helping all members of the Residence Life community feel safe, respected, and welcomed, and celebrated.
- We will incorporate a training module in the orientation for all new staff.
- We will include a section on our commitment to diversity and general expectations in our orientation handbook.
- We will have an annual training on diversity for all staff in the Department.
- We will develop systems of promotion and support where Residence Life staff may participate in on-going trainings, workshops, and seminars.
- We will provide financial support for an annual speaker focused on diversity related issues.
- We will continue annual training for all staff related to customer service as it relates to differences.
- We will develop and implement a plan to increase awareness about the Bias Reporting system among Residence Life students and staff.
- We will continue to examine all policies and procedures to work towards the elimination of institutional bias.
Objective 3: Research and Creative Activity - Engage in research and creative activity that reflect multicultural values and perspectives.
GOAL 3A: We will conduct a formal climate assessment for residence hall and apartment students.
- We will create an assessment that will seek feedback specifically from residents of underrepresented groups. (ad hoc)
- We will utilize Student Voice to bring multiple assessment results and data together for incorporation into our next planning cycle.
Objective 4: Recruitment and Retention - Increase the representation of historically underrepresented populations among students, faculty, staff, and administrators.
GOAL 4A: We will seek candidates who show a genuine interest and/or demonstrate a commitment to social justice and diverse populations for employment within the Department.
- We will standardize job listings for all vacant positions to screen based genuine interest and/or demonstrated commitment to diversity.
- We will add specific interview questions to all job interviews addressing inclusiveness.
GOAL 4B: We will explore avenues and potential means of increasing the recruitment and retention of students from underrepresented populations in the residence halls and apartment complexes.
- We will create an ad hoc committee with diverse representation to explore what other institutions have done to support underrepresented student populations in housing and residence life.
- We will consider and explore the collaborative relationships between Residence Life and other NDSU entities to determine how underrepresented students can be better recruited, served and supported in the halls/apartments.
Objective 5: Inter-group and Intra-group Relations - Celebrate human differences and recognize socially constructed differences (e.g., gender, race, disability, GLBT, etc.) through encouraging and supporting the continuing interaction of diverse cultures.
GOAL 5A: We will encourage Residence Life staff and student leaders to understand their own practices and traditions and create welcoming communities for all people.
- We will include mention of cultural holidays and traditions, along with their meaning, in newsletters and other Residence Life publications.
- We will teach all staff and student leaders the importance of relationship building as a means to understand ourselves and others in a deeper, more meaningful way.
GOAL 5B: As buildings are developed or remodeled we will look for ways to incorporate "community center" style areas to allow for opportunities for interaction and continued development across the increasingly diverse student population.
- We will develop a plan for the Niskanen Community Center that intentionally provides opportunities for interaction within and among various groups.
- We will better utilize all our common spaces in the residence halls and apartment buildings to foster and offer opportunities for group interactions.
GOAL 5C: We will dedicate specific funding for diversity related events, activities, and programs as incentive and support for residence hall and apartment staff to focus in this area.
- We will sponsor and plan three annual Department-wide programs, one each semester, to bring together residence hall students and apartment tenants to interact in an informal setting promoting cultural awareness and the formation of respectful relationships (fall and spring celebrations and a cultural night).
- We will continue to seek opportunities to work collaboratively on programs and educational activities with the International Programs Office and Multicultural Student Programs.
- We will continue sponsoring a joint program for International Students during International Student Orientation and RA training.
GOAL 5D: We will take specific steps to better welcome and help new apartment tenants acclimate to the University and the Fargo-Moorhead community each semester.
- We will continue to provide sessions on residence halls and apartments at International Student Orientation each fall and spring semesters.
- We will assess what information other Residence Life programs provide to new tenants to begin welcoming them to the community.
- Complex Managers will meet one on one with each new resident within one week of their arrival to welcome and get to know them.