Statement of Mission
The Division of Student Life Diversity Committee regards diversity as an asset and honors the cultures, races, ethnicities, nationalities, traditions and other differences among students that enrich the Iona College community. Its mission is to support and enhance the overall mission of the College by creating a welcoming, safe, and vibrant diversitypositive campus environment for all students at Iona College.
Some of the committee's goals are:
to conduct ongoing assessment of campus climate, student perceptions and needs, and College practices related to diversity;
to offer programs to the Iona community related to all aspects of diversity, for example, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, age and disability;
to promote inter-group dialogue among diverse student cohorts; and
to train student paraprofessionals and campus professionals with regard to awareness, knowledge and skills related to diversity.
The Division of Student Life Diversity Committee is comprised of administrators and faculty who partner with student groups and organizations (for example, the Student Government Association, the Gaels Activities Board, the Council of Multicultural Leaders, the Hispanic Organization for Latino Awareness, the Students of Caribbean Ancestry) to provide diversity-related programs that are of interest to Iona students.
The Diversity Committee recognizes that as our nation becomes more diverse, an important part of our students' education is preparation to live in an increasingly pluralistic society. Further, we recognize that students face challenges in creating social networks with diverse peers and in developing their personal and cultural identities. Therefore, the Diversity Committee works toward creating programs that assist students to appreciate their own cultural identity and heritage, to give voice to their cultural experiences and worldviews, and to understand and relate to the cultural experiences and worldviews of others.
The Division of Student Life Diversity Committee believes that a strong Iona College community is one that is open, self refl ective, welcoming, and respectful when engaging a diverse community of learners.
Activities & Programs
Training of Resident Assistants and Campus Ministers
Each summer Resident Assistants and Student Campus Ministers receive intensive training to heighten their awareness of diversity-related issues and to teach them specific skills for creating a diversity positive living and learning environment.
Training for all Student Services Professionals
The Diversity Committee offers an all-day training session for student services providers. Participants are invited to become aware of their own cultural identity and their own experiences with racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination, as well as develop specific skills for working effectively with a diverse student population. Ongoing diversity training is available from this committee upon request.
Student Focus Groups
The Diversity Committee, in partnership with other campus professionals who served as moderators, conducts a number of student focus groups related to diversity. These groups assess students' experiences and perceptions with regard to diversity across all aspects of college life, inside and outside of the classroom. The Diversity Committee incorporates ideas that students share during focus group discussions.
New Student Orientation
All entering first-year students engage in activities related to respect, community membership, and appreciating diversity as part of their summer orientation.
"A Conversation About..." Series
The Diversity Committee has sponsored a number of student-led panel discussions and community dialogues that focused on such topics as:
race and ethnicity;
students with disabilities;
hurtful language and symbols; and
What the committee has done for me...
"The Diversity Committee panel allowed me to see that the Iona community is one of diversity, acceptance, and compassion."
"This program is incredibly progressive
and invites students and faculty to discuss
- Elizabeth Young, Class of 2008
- Macki Snyder, Class of 2010
"The committee program taught me
that we must understand the world is
different and learn to unite in differences,
adversity, and fear"
"There are many different views; these
views are valid and need to be respected
in order to live peacefully"
- Nigel Sealey, Class of 2010
- Ronald Stabile, Class of 2010
All members of the Iona College Community are welcome to become involved with the Division of Student Life Diversity Committee. If you would like to come to our weekly meetings, suggest topics for programs and activities, and/or partner with us on specific programs, please contact any of the members of the committee.
Division of Student Life Diversity Committee
Kelli Meyer, Chair
Irene Haspel, LMSW, ACSW
Social Work Department
Mission and Ministry
Joseph W. Polchinski
Interim Coordinator of International Student Engagement
Susan Toliver, PhD
Thomas Van Cleave
Service & Experiential Learning