The University of North Florida Department of Housing and Residence Life is a featured program.
INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine recently honored UNF with the 2014 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award based on the University’s ability to embrace a broad definition of diversity on campus, including gender, race, ethnicity, veterans, people with disabilities and members of the LGBT community.
HRE Diversity Statement
The Department of Housing and Residence Life at the University of North Florida is committed to the value of constructive and continuous dialogue that will drive our efforts to learn and develop new interpretations of diversity and social justice in order to promote an inclusive environment. In creating an inclusive community, Housing and Residence Life staff and students will seek to acknowledge diversity in all of its forms, advocate for student well-being, and educate others about ourselves and the goals of our community.
Diversity Committee and “Coffee-sation” Sessions
Housing and Residence Education has its own focus on diversity education and inclusion efforts. The Department has recently initiated a Diversity Committee comprised of our student staff members, and each RLC is tasked with thinking of new and innovative ways to incorporate Diversity and Inclusion initiatives with their respective staffs and residents. One of the main methods the committee is being utilized is through ‘Coffee-sation’ sessions on topics of race, ethnicity, oppression, opportunity, etc., and how those play out on campus. The conversations are ‘by students for students,’ and while professional staff members are present for them, the focus is meant to be on peer education.
Monthly Lunch Discussions
In 2015, HRE Pro Staff implemented monthly lunch discussions on current events, and use the time to gather information, share opinions, and discuss how to engage student staff and residents in similar dialogues. Fall semester discussions so far have included Kim Davis/LGBT Rights, and Affirmative Action.
The World Café Progam
One of the newest and most impactful initiatives within the Department, has been an in–service program entitled, ‘World Café.’ The session participants are all undergraduate level student staff (RAs, LCAs, and CAs). The format is a laid back, café style setup with drawing paper on the tables and trigger rooms for individuals who might feel triggered by the topics covered. The timing is setup in such a way that more about the topic and more specifically, more about how someone feels about the topic, is discovered as the time goes on. The first 10 minutes are used to introduce a topic, show a video, and/or review news articles. The next 10 minutes are used to talk about the topic in pairs. The last 10 minutes are used to discuss the topic with the 6–8 people at the table. Topics thus far have included Marriage Equality, Police Brutality, and the Confederate Flag.
Submitted by Nikki Steinberger, Residence Life Coordinator, University of North Florida