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Our Commitment to Diversity

The Department of Housing and Residential Life has provided support for the advancement of inclusion and diversity at URI in a number of ways. For example, HRL has funded and coordinated the very successful Pangaea roots music program offered each fall semester for over a decade as a concluding event to the University's Diversity Week. And while the Pangaea series has been put on hold for the coming year as we explore the next generation of roots music programming options, HRL continues to provide funding and co-sponsorship for campus-wide diversity initiatives and programs throughout the year. Over the past three years, students of color and students from historically under-represented populations have comprised about 20% of HRL's Resident Advisor staff and over 50% of the central office student staff. HRL has provided funding and space for the GLBT Center (currently in Adams residence hall) since the Center's inception as it awaits a permanent home in a more centrally accessible location on campus. Several of our staff are associated with the University's Talent Development Program and we work very closely with the leadership of the TD Program. We maintain collaborative partnerships with the Office of Disability Student Services and the Multicultural Center. HRL has provided guidance and support to the Women's Center especially during the start up of the Women in Leadership House. Our own Rainbow Diversity House has been a successful addition to the common theme community housing options at URI. Additionally, the department is integrated into the University's bias response network and protocols. We are committed to enhancing inclusion and diversity at URI, and we are equally committed to improving our role and contributions toward that goal. Currently, we are exploring the creation of a new social justice theme community as well as the addition of upper class gender neutral living options as recommended by I AM U - URI Unity in Difference student equity group. We invite feedback and suggestions on how we can build upon and strengthen those efforts.

HRL Diversity Statement

Diversity is the inclusive collage of all differences that our staff and residents bring into our work and living communities. We regard diversity as integral to the very spirit of our residential experience. It strengthens us and enhances our campus life. Our department is committed to actively cultivating a community climate in which there exists a fundamental respect for human dignity and a full celebration of both our differences and commonalities.

HRL Diversity Committee

The HRL Diversity Committee is a standing committee within the department that is charged with supporting and enhancing the advancement of inclusion, diversity, and multiculturalism at The University of Rhode Island through programs and initiatives specific to on-campus residential life, as well as partnerships with campus-wide diversity agencies. The three primary components of the Diversity Committee pertain to residence hall programming, staff training, and staff recruitment and retention.

Members of the HRL Diversity Committee often represent the department on various URI and Student Affairs committees, study groups, and task forces. All HRL staff are welcome to join the Diversity Committee. Meetings are generally held no less than twice monthly.

Recent efforts of the HRL Diversity Committee include our Diversity Statement, support for and collaboration on the fall 09 "Stop the Hate" gathering on the Quad, and the spring 10 "An Act of Discussion" residence hall diversity conversation program. The committee is continuing its efforts to foster inclusion and strengthen diversity programming and staff training in all on-campus residences.

2010/11 HRL Diversity Committee Co-Chairs:

  • Bryana White — Graduate Assistant Hall Director
  • Chip Yensan — Assistant Vice President/Director

Diversity Resources at URI

Information and resources pertaining to inclusion, diversity, and multiculturalism at URI can be found on the following link sites: