Multiculturalism and Diversity

Multiculturalism is one of three strategic priorities within the Division of Student Life. The strategic priorities (leadership development, multicultural competence, and health/safety) share two common elements:

  1. They are aligned with the services and programs of most or all the Division’s departments.
  2. They are areas in which the Division is positioned to make a significant contribution to student success. Successful students develop skills and knowledge, become more mature in their thinking, assume greater responsibility for their own lives and learning, develop their understanding of diversity and multiculturalism, and become effective leaders.

Why is this important?

Multicultural competence is a 21st century skill. With an increasingly diverse student body, our ability to create a Division of Student Life environment that is inclusive and welcoming of all students is important now more than ever. We view our role, as Division staff members, as critical in helping students gain an understanding of multiculturalism. In order to optimize our effectiveness in facilitating student development in this area, we have committed, as a Division, to increasing staff multicultural knowledge, awareness, and skills. On a practical level, having multicultural knowledge, awareness, and skills enhances our ability to do our jobs and it better prepares our students to succeed in theirs. University of Iowa students today are graduating and entering a far more complex and diverse world than those of previous generations. Their ability to think critically about important problems such as poverty, economics, health and disease, and global relations is developed through academics paired with educationally purposeful experiences, such as living learning communities, student employment, student organization involvement, leadership, and social justice.

Multicultural Work Group Outcomes

The Multicultural Competence Work Group was charged with conducting a careful and honest audit of the Division, with regard to our status as a 'multiculturally competent organization'. 

Multicultural Competence Work Group Initial Report

The following report outlines the findings of the Multicultural Organizational Development Checklist (MOD), provides recommendations on Division strengths/areas for growth, and outlines a framework of learning outcomes and an assessment plan for Multicultural Competence Training in the Division.

Multicultural Competence Work Group (MCWG) Initial Report

Multicultural Competence in Student Affairs Organizations

Measuring our progress toward our three-year vision involves a number of metrics, including the Multicultural Competence in Student Affairs Organizations (MCSAO) questionnaire, which will be administered yearly beginning in 2013. Departmental dashboard results are shared with each Change Team, and provide areas of strength and areas for growth in the dimensions of multiculturally competent organizations. This questionnaire, developed by Dr. Lacretia Flash at the University of Vermont, focuses on departmental practices, not individual staff competency. It provides a snapshot of staff perceptions of the support for multiculturalism, inclusion, and diversity at the departmental level.

Division of Student Life MCSAO Summary for 2013

Perspective Taking and Self-Authorship

To help guide the Division’s efforts to support student growth and development in the area of multiculturalism and diversity, the Multicultural Work Group (MCWG) has outlined a framework using perspective-taking and self-authorship. Ultimately, perspective-taking and self-authorship, key skills to multicultural competence, provide the foundation for students to participate in more advanced levels of personal and social responsibility, including social justice, social change, and advocacy work.

The MCWG has conducted a scan of our departments to determine policies, practices, and programs that support student perspective-taking and self-authorship. The scan, along with student interviews, provided useful information about areas of strength and areas for continued growth.

Departmental Perspective-Taking and Self-Authorship Scan Results and Recommendations

Student Voices Report and Recommendations

The MCWG has created guidelines for incorporating and strengthening perspective-taking and self-authorship into programs and services.

Guidelines for Incorporating & Strengthening Perspective-Taking & Self-Authorship

Multicultural Competence Work Group Members

Sarah Hansen, Office of the Vice President for Student Life

Linda Stewart Kroon, Women’s Resource and Action Center

Mark Harris, Student Disability Service

Roy Salcedo, Center for Student Involvement and Leadership

Tanya Villhauer, Student Health and Wellness

Kelly Clougher, University Counseling Service

Julie Corkery, University Counseling Service

Katryn Duarte, Rape Victim Advocacy Program

Teri Schnelle, Office of the Vice President for Student Life

Tabitha Wiggins, University Housing & Dining

Caleb Recker, Recreational Services

Lindsay Jarratt, Liaison with the Chief Diversity Office

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