Thursday, March 2, 2017

Meet the Dean of Students Diversity Advisory Board

Meet the Dean of Students Diversity Advisory Board
By Sofia B. Pertuz, Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students

Starting in the spring of 2016, I, along with our Associate Dean of Students, Joseph Fitzpatrick and Associate Director for Intercultural Engagement and Inclusion, Gillian Atkinson began meeting with a group of concerned students who were interested in discussing diversity and becoming more inter-culturally engaged on Hofstra University’s campus. The national landscape was challenging and after hosting a campus community dialogue about protests happening at universities nationwide, including at the University of Missouri, we realized that our students were looking for connections around ideas of inclusiveness and raising awareness on Hofstra’s campus. The result of these meetings was the formation of the Dean of Students Diversity Advisory Board (DOSDAB).

The group of students who joined these meetings were intelligent, thoughtful and hopeful that we could have a campus community that cares for one another and genuinely wants to learn from every person’s lived experience. They expressed desires to create programs and open dialogues, in person and online, where students can share their life stories and perspectives on a variety of issues. This blog is one place where students will be sharing their experiences and thoughts on a variety of topics. 

It is my pleasure to introduce our mission and our student members.

Mission of the Dean of Students Diversity Advisory Board
The Dean of Students Diversity Advisory Board is a group of diverse Hofstra student leaders representing a variety of backgrounds, who meet regularly to consider and discuss matters concerning diversity and student life. The Board identifies ways to educate about diversity, advocate for marginalized people, and provide guidance as Hofstra addresses community issues.

What do we mean when we use the word diversity?
The Board defines "diversity" as an inclusive community of people with varied human characteristics, practices, beliefs, ideas, and world-views whose interactions both benefit and challenge each other to grow, while making the community more welcoming and inclusive.

The goals of the Board shall include, but not be limited to the following:
  • Work with and advise the Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students and other senior Student Affairs officers concerning the promotion of diversity and inclusion on campus.
  • Educate, discuss, evaluate, and share matters of diversity to enhance and foster an inclusive and welcoming campus environment.
  • Develop an effective means of communication about diversity issues with all segments and levels of the community.
  • Advocate for the recruitment and representation of diverse students, faculty and staff and encourage diversity initiatives that enhance retention, advancement and engagement of diverse people throughout the university.
  • Celebrate the differences in people and intersections of identity without attaching values.

We have now launched a website where you can meet the board, read the blog and learn about the initiatives that the Dean of Students Diversity Advisory Board will be working on. Follow us on Twitter - @Hofstra_DOSDAB and Instagram – HU_DOS_DiversityAdvisoryBoard. We are excited for what is to come! 

Some of our DOSDAB members and future bloggers: Ashley Franks, Sarah Harris, Ben Martin, Genesis Rivera, Raven Cordice, Maryam Qureshi, and Carrisa Anderson

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