Creating an Open and Respectful Campus Environment
The A CAMPUS OF DIFFERENCE™ program offers some suggestions for creating and maintaining a productive, positive, open and respectful college and university campus environment:
- Develop and enhance diversity skills by seeking out new information about cultures and communities with which you may lack in-depth experience. Whether you conduct internet research on your own or host a lunchtime panel or dialogue session, there is always something new to learn.
- Treat all people with respect and dignity while remembering that your definition of respect and dignity might be different from another person’s needs. Be flexible and open to meeting someone else’s diversity and inclusion needs.
- Develop awareness of specific words or phrases that may be offensive to others and consider your choices. If you offend someone, apologize, because the impact of your words is often more important than your intention.
- Create opportunities for yourself and others to highlight diversity and recognize special observances, such as National Freedom Day, Purim, Cesar Chavez Day, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Transgender Awareness Week, National Disability Employment Awareness Month and beyond.
- When misunderstanding or conflict arises, be willing to respectfully share your beliefs, while recognizing they may be different from the beliefs of others. Communicate in ways that promote understanding, not debate. Be someone’s ally. Take an active role in cultivating inclusion and respect through activism and understanding.