SUU’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion Welcomes All Students

Published: November 19, 2018 | Author: Andrew Brown | Read Time: 2 minutes

SUU students in the Center for Diversity and Inclusion studyingThe Center for Diversity and Inclusion(CDI) is the place at Southern Utah University where students from all backgrounds gather. No matter the ethnicity, gender identity, age, major, sexuality or economic status, all are welcome and celebrated in the CDI.

“Our name is Diversity and Inclusion,” said  Maria Martinez, the director of the CDI. “We are all about including and hearing everyone’s voices, particularly those from historically marginalized groups. Traditionally they haven't always been heard, but together we can make those voices louder.”

The CDI gives students the chance to discover new things and meet new people by hosting cultural events, such as pageants, cultural showcases and other activities throughout the academic year.  The CDI works with associated clubs to provide a variety of opportunities and all events are open for anyone to attend. The Center also has staff on site from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday  to help connect students to campus resources like academic advising, career counseling, and financial aid.

“Sometimes I will find myself in here because it’s where I feel the most comfortable,” said Sunny Sims, a senior political science major from Las Vegas. “It’s not just about looking for other people who look like you. We all look for other people who share the same interests, struggles and stories as we do, not just the same background or skin color.”

Colleges in the United States have increased in undergraduate diversity over the past few decades. With a 74.5 percent caucasian undergraduate student body, Southern Utah University is still below the national average. For many students who come from outside of Utah or have different backgrounds, the CDI is the one place where they feel like they can find a community that they belong to.

"The CDI truly becomes a home away from home for many students,” said Martinez. “Our center and its programming not only represents the diverse identities present on our campus but also gives students an opportunity to share their cultures with others. The sense of belonging created contributes to higher retention and graduation rates of our underrepresented students."

The Center for Diversity and Inclusion is located in the Sharwan Smith Student Center in room 101 and is open for general use Monday through Friday from 8am to 11pm.

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Tags: Student International Affairs Center for Diversity and Inclusion

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