Lake Superior State University celebrates its diverse community and is committed to promoting a culture of inclusion and belonging. Our diversity reflects the many ways in which individuals and communities uniquely identify – socioeconomic, first-generation status, veteran status, religious, racial, sexual orientation, ethnic, or political – contributing distinct and valuable experiences and perspectives to the makeup of the university. Everyone should have equal possibility to find their place at LSSU, to feel like they belong, and to have a shared Laker identity. The University’s belief in inclusion reflects the manner in which individuals with different backgrounds are incorporated and valued within educational and civic discourse. We respect and celebrate the uniqueness of the students, staff, and faculty that comprise our community, and acknowledge our responsibility to ensure a culturally relevant space where all feel heard and welcomed. Our policies and practices must promote a culture of inclusion, safety, and belonging; they must be person-centered, equitable, and coordinated across campus. We especially must support, uplift, and empower underrepresented and marginalized groups. Our culture of inclusion and belonging allows us to enrich every pillar of the strategic plan.
Goal 2.1 – Integrate and advance the celebration of diversity across the University.
- 2.1.1 Develop a campus-wide Diversity Plan that promotes a culture of inclusion and belonging.
- 2.1.2 Establish and publish a calendar of cultural and historic events, celebrations, dates, and holidays.
- 2.1.3 Support the creation of additional multicultural or inclusion groups, events, and activities.
- 2.1.4 Create opportunities for open presentations on diversity for students, faculty, and develop a Diversity Speaker Series.
- 2.1.5 Assess the cultural relevance of courses and curricula with the goal increasing cultural literacy.
- 2.1.6 Increase collaboration among student organizations when hosting events with similar themes.
- 2.1.7 Identify and achieve campus-wide diversity recognition from external organizations that highlight success in working with diverse student groups (e.g. Veteran-Friendly School Gold Level by the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency).
- 2.1.8 Create a leadership development program for faculty and staff – in particular women, minorities, and members of underrepresented populations – to provide added opportunity to position themselves for professional advancement within the University.
Goal 2.2 – Sustain a university climate that promotes retention and success of students, faculty, and staff; and that makes all feel welcomed, supported, included, and valued.
- 2.2.1 Develop, encourage, and support processes that allow continued dialogue and service to diversity, inclusion, and belonging through academic and culture-based activities.
- 2.2.2 Enhance the physical and technological infrastructure that provides accessibility for all university members.
- 2.2.3 Provide training to faculty and staff around best practices for cultural competencies and accommodated resources to support diverse populations on campus.
- 2.2.4 Create and maintain a website to provide communication for initiatives, successes, and resources around diversity, inclusion, and belonging efforts.
Goal 2.3 – Increase awareness of student social mobility and the challenges associated with it, and increase support activities for socioeconomically disadvantaged groups.
- 2.3.1 Increase the number of annual and endowed scholarships targeting students from disadvantaged financial backgrounds.
- 2.3.2 Assess and increase awareness of student food insecurity and maintain a food pantry and professional clothing resource.
- 2.3.3 Increase faculty, staff, and students’ involvement in community and civic affairs.
- 2.3.4 Enhance financial literacy education, especially as it relates to student debt.
- 2.3.5 Increase and maintain a funding source for student emergencies.
- 2.3.6 Increase grant support to benefit students from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds.
- 2.3.7 Increase financial training for faculty and staff about challenges related to social and economic mobility.
Goal 2.4 – Design activities, themes, and traditions that define what it means to be a Laker, that enhance campus identity, and that build a sense of belonging.
- 2.4.1 Offer and support positive interactions in the classroom, workplace, and campus living spaces to give students, faculty, and staff opportunities to connect and build relationships.
- 2.4.2 Increase communications highlighting successes, accomplishments, and key initiatives of students, faculty, staff, and alumni across multiple platforms and when possible invite community participation.
- 2.4.3 Update the University’s Style Guide and use of a uniform brand and stylistic approach, including Athletics programs and licensed products.
- 2.4.4 Broaden campus participation at Laker Athletics events.
- 2.4.5 Develop and expand student music opportunities on campus, including the University Pep Band for performances at Laker Athletics events.
Goal 2.5 – Incorporate history, traditions, languages, and cultures of Indigenous peoples in all University service areas.
- 2.5.1 Augment the prominence of the Native American Center on campus, in the community, and on a regional and national level through broader programmatic offerings.
- 2.5.2 Increase the number of programmatic offerings and activities in the Native American Center on campus and in the community.
- 2.5.3 Develop and offer Ojibwe language courses on campus including a program that results in a teaching certificate in education.
- 2.5.4 Incorporate the history of Indigenous cultures in general education.
- 2.5.5 Develop an immersive cultural program on campus that promotes Native American historical and contemporary narrative.
- 2.5.6 Establish a new academic program in Native American studies that emphasizes the history of the Great Lakes Region and Native American history and culture.
- 2.5.7 Establish as a graduation requirement for baccalaureate degrees the completion of at least one course with Indigenous cultural content.