Diversity Vision Statement
Lake Superior State University promotes diversity, inclusion, and belonging that respects and celebrates the uniqueness of its students, staff, and faculty. We embrace our responsibility to create a culturally relevant space where people feel heard and welcomed. Our policies and practices must be person-centered, equitable, and coordinated across campus to promote a culture of inclusion, safety, and belonging. We especially must support, uplift, and empower underrepresented and marginalized groups. Through curricular, co-curricular experiences, and extracurricular experiences, we train students to think critically, communicate effectively, and display professional and ethical behavior. We embrace the concepts of diversity, inclusion, and belonging. We commit ourselves to a rich, vibrant campus community that enhances the overall student experience, enriches students’ learning, and creates constant moments of encounter and interaction with new worldviews, backgrounds, and perspectives. We believe that these experiences transform students and instill in them the knowledge, empathy, skills, and self-confidence to persist in their educational pursuits toward their long-term goals.
Diversity reflects the many ways in which individuals and communities uniquely identify. Ours is a broad notion of diversity that includes socioeconomic, first-generation, veteran, and marital status; religious and political beliefs; race, culture, and ethnicity; sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and expression; ability (physical, learning, and psychological); and age. This broad notion contributes distinct and valuable experiences and perspectives to the Lake Superior State University community. Diversity is also a concept that fosters an environment in which members of the University community are accepted and respected for who they are. The exploration of differences creates and shapes a university community of understanding and moves past simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating each other. The University is responsible for expanding the traditional views of diversity to recognize not only differences, but honor and interlace diverse identities to provide an inclusive environment for all campus community members.
We believe that each individual in the campus community has the responsibility to invest in opportunities to increase their cultural literacy through university led efforts. The University will take steps to create those opportunities that allow the campus community to experience inclusion in action through academic and social programs.
Inclusion ensures representation and participation of community members, irrespective of social identities. The manner in which individuals with different backgrounds are incorporated and valued within educational and civic discourse represents the University’s commitment to inclusion. We respect and celebrate the uniqueness of the students, staff, and faculty that comprise our community, and acknowledge our responsibility to create a culturally relevant space wherein community members feel heard and welcomed. To do so, we sustain a university climate that promotes retention and success of students, faculty, and staff that makes all feel welcomed, supported, included, and valued.
Sense of Belonging
Sense of belonging is a fundamental need to feel connected to a community and with its people. The absence of belonging is a barrier to learning and student success. Because a sense of belonging can be influenced by context, we aim to create an environment in which Lakers are able to be themselves. Through classes, organizations, programs, and shared experiences, we offer opportunities to feel connected, respected, valued, safe, heard, and seen.
Approved February 11, 2021