Accomplishments and initiatives

Staff members across Business Operations, Facilities, Nevada Dining, and Residential Life have collaborated with internal and external partners to better support all students living on-campus through the following interventions:

Access and inclusivity in the residence halls

  • Updated the housing application with an easier process for gender-inclusive housing
  • Broadened gender-inclusive housing options to all residence halls
  • Developed a Black Scholars Living Learning Community, to launch Fall 2021
  • Developed an Indigenous Living Learning Community, to launch Fall 2021
  • Developed a Latinx Living Learning Community launched Fall 2019
  • Developed a Gender, Sexuality, and Identity Living Learning Community launched Fall 2017
  • Submitted a proposal to transition all common area restrooms to be Gender Inclusive
  • Developed a housing rate structure driven by equity as a way to provide more access to students who want to live on campus, but can't afford it; and including laundry in rent
  • Shortened housing application and increased description to provide more transparency by removing the security deposit and pre-payments and implementing a $300 down payment, making it easier for students to get a payment plan or have the down payment deferred to fall semester
  • Partnered with RHA to assess the physical accessibility of all halls with preliminary results including receiving construction estimates that are included in a newly developed 10-year capital improvement plan

Student support

  • Partnered with Admissions and Records to import a students’ “preferred name” from PeopleSoft into the housing database
  • Created an Incident Response Team that will meet regularly and is positioned to develop action plans to support impacted students/staff when incidents occur locally, regionally, nationally or globally
  • Supported a Diversity, Social Justice and Inclusion Committee of student, graduate and full-time staff to provide educational opportunities for residents living on-campus
  • Provided space during student staff training where affinity groups could caucus to better explore their identities and their impact/influence on other identities

Professional development and staff support

  • Drafted multicultural competencies for all position descriptions that will be used during the performance appraisal process
  • Implemented a monthly professional development series for full-time/graduate staff with topics related to identity, communication, power and privilege, and supporting minoritized identities, to name a few
  • Providing website and social media links to anti-racism resources in weekly meeting minutes shared with all student, graduate and full-time staff
  • Intentionally recruited full-time staff through affinity-based publications and job board
  • Updated a director-level position to include “Inclusion” to ensure diversity, equity and inclusion efforts are centered in department-wise efforts
  • In the new organizational structure, created a coordinator position dedicated to diversity and equity within the department
  • Charged a Multicultural and Inclusive Excellence Task Force of staff members across the department to address and further develop diversity, equity and inclusion work
  • Specific opportunities for the Residential Life team:
    • Online seminars for student staff centered around social equity and identity development.
    • Trauma informed supervision training.
    • Common reads centered around social justice to increase knowledge of various topics for graduate and full-time Staff.
    • Online discussion posts for student staff members centered around “How To be An Antiracist.”

Call to action

The accomplishments listed above serve as a starting point for the work needed to create a more inclusive and accessible on-campus housing environment. If you join our team, you will be a tremendous asset in helping us further aspects of social justice and inclusion for us to better and proactively support minoritized students and staff. Below is a list of action items members of the department feel need to be completed in order to be even more inclusive. Some items are currently in-process but most have yet to be started as the projects above were considered a higher priority at the time. As a member of our team, we will rely on you to provide feedback, identify additional strategies we need to address (or create), and collaborate with internal and external stakeholders to keep moving our department forward. 

 

Access and inclusivity in the residence halls

  • Create housing scholarships for students who otherwise wouldn't be able to live in more expensive residence halls and LLCs
  • Update the policy/practice about using government ID to check out items at service desks
  • Update housing application to address concern about using a student’s legal/dead name when that is not their preference

Student support

  • Collaborate with Indigenous nations in the West (where our students come from or could come from) to host annual or more frequent connections/celebrations
  • Develop a mentoring program where students of color can be connected with someone of a similar identity in a leadership role or has more experience living on campus
  • With the crisis response team implemented, start proactive education and support to students/staff of marginalized and minoritized identities
  • Develop an Indigenous Elder-in-Residence program (or not living on campus) available for connections, relationship building, support for students and consultation to decolonize practices across division

Professional development and staff support

  • Hire more staff of color, marketing all positions through affinity-specific venues
  • Develop a professional development opportunity to educate supervisors on skills for supporting someone who shares different identities than you
  • Develop a retention plan for student, graduate and full-time staff of color
  • Collaborate with the Division of Student Services and Human Resources to include multicultural competencies from position descriptions into the performance appraisal process
  • Collaborate with the Disability Resource Center to designate an accessibility and universal design advisor to the office, working with all functional areas for recruitment, selection, training and development opportunities
  • Develop a staged professional development curriculum with all staff expected to attend with department/supervisory expectations for multicultural competencies
  • Explore with Division of Student Services and Human Resources the possibility of merit increases or bonuses for staff who demonstrate significant learning and/or impact related to diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Conduct an inclusive excellence audit by external reviewers
  • Advocacy, communication and racial justice workshops/seminars for all full-time employees