By Micaela Freeman | Staff Writer
Baylor University’s Campus Diversity Committee strives to keep unity within the university via diversity inclusion. The goal of the Campus Diversity Committee is to reflect diversity as a valuable quality of Baylor and to promote diversity academically and personally.
The committee aims to seek out diversity and celebrate and respect it amongst the student population.
“The Campus Diversity Committee, with the support of the Office of the President, seeks to ensure an academic environment that welcomes, recognizes, respects and celebrates the personal heritage of all campus constituents,” The committee says on its website.
The committee, throughout the year, extends invitations to students to feel included by advocating diversity. The committee holds events that promote the diversity of Baylor such as the Cultural Connection Celebration the Black Heritage Banquet earlier this semester.
Anna Shaw, assistant director of the Office of Access and Learning Accommodation, is an advocate for diversity, including students with learning disabilities. Shaw believes that the committee allows her and other members to speak out for diversity with a professional platform.
“My goal is that the committee continues to partner with and support students, organizations and diversity-driven projects on the Baylor campus,” Shaw said.
Along with Shaw’s goals of supporting student diversity, she works closely with students who require learning accommodations.
“I’m the assistant director of the Office of Access and Learning Accommodation and for me, being on the committee has helped bring awareness to disability as a diversity issue — students with disabilities are too a legitimate and important element of diversity in the classroom,” Shaw said.
Dean for Student Development in the Division of Student Life and Special Assistant to the President on Diversity, Dr. Elizabeth Palacio works closely to Baylor’s students and realizes the benefits of Baylor University’s Campus Diversity Committee. Palacio acknowledged how the committee not only benefits students but also allows those involved to become more aware of the student population.
Palacio said the program motivates her and those who are apart of the Campus Diversity Committee to reach out to students and share advocacy for diversity.
“It has served as a bridge between faculty, staff and now students from all backgrounds to share a meal and engage with speakers that have challenged, informed, inspired and motivated us to step outside our comfort zone,” Palacio said. “This program continues to serve as a platform for increasing our awareness, knowledge, and spiritual connection.”
Baylor University is practicing “Cultural Humility,” an outlook in which the university celebrates multiculturalism, the recognition of many cultures on campus.
Baylor University’s Diversity and Inclusion’s initiative says they believe in fully committing to students and recognizing each as accepted individuals.
“The Baylor community is fully committed to nurturing an environment for knowing, being, and doing across the campus where people of all backgrounds can come together and reason together, live together, believe together, create together, learn together, work together, and grow together,” Baylor’s website said.