Adrian Rodriguez, associate vice president of academic student services for diversity and multicultural student affairs, spoke to the Student Governing Association about the atmosphere of multiculturalism on campus today and how it will look in the future during the open period of Thursday’s SGA meeting.
“We all bring our unique selves, our authentic selves, to K-State, and it’s important to be valued for who we are and where we come from,” Rodriguez said. “When we talk about diversity and inclusion, that involves all of us.”
Rodriguez said when he arrived, he was surprised to find that the multicultural dialogues being had at Kansas State equated diversity with race.
“I’m used to a little bit more of an evolved discussion on that, but I think, as I’ve been working and listening, there’s been a great deal of discussion and interest in intercultural learning,” Rodriguez said. “It’s about understanding each of our own identities and our unique perspectives.”
In the future, Rodriguez said he wants to build a student-driven multicultural strategy, as opposed to the “front loaded” efforts the university uses now.
“What we want to do is make sure that we are engaging students as they are moving through the college experience and doing as much as we can to provide intercultural learning,” Rodriguez said.
Another idea Rodriguez discussed was the potential implementation of an element promoting the Principles of Community during the enrollment process.
Rodriguez also detailed the next steps of the KSUnite movement as well as the potential for a multicultural student center, which is supported by around $3 million from private donors.
For more information about current diversity and inclusion efforts on campus, check the K-State Office of Diversity website.
The SGA student senate reconvenes Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Student Union Wildcat Chamber.