On Monday, Feb. 7, President Scott Miller announced the new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council (DEIC). At Virginia Wesleyan University, the DEIC will help offer programs to enhance the education of the campus community through not only understanding diversity, equity and inclusion issues, but also celebrating and respecting differences in the community. Most importantly, it helps provide resources and support for students to ensure equality and equity in our diverse school.
The DEIC will be led by Dr. Felipe Hugueño, who will serve as the chief diversity officer with five deputy diversity officers. Hugueño currently serves as the assistant professor of Hispanic Studies at VWU
Joining Hugueño are five deputy diversity officers who are liaisons for their own department. Dr. Modupe Oshikoya is the academic liaison, Cameia Alexander is the athletic liaison, Dr. Brian Kurisky is the The Lighthouse liaison, Kelly Jackson is the Robert Nusbaum Center liaison and Andre Wiggins is the student activities liaison.
As said by President Miller, “the DEIC will lead the institution in offering programs designed to enhance the educational value of the campus community through purposeful dialogue and celebration of difference.”
When asked what is the purpose and goals of the DEIC, Hugueño said, “The DEIC is an important step toward the university’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion as an institution. The DEIC hopes that our differences as individuals can be celebrated, respected and negotiated through dialogue. We aim to promote good relations and practices to one another. Through our actions, we will conceptualize, define, assess and cultivate diversity. Hopefully everyone on campus will feel more welcomed and that they belong to a special place.”
When asked what do you hope the DEIC could do to help with diversity and inclusion at Virginia Wesleyan, Jordan Gilliam, the vice president of the Black Student Union at VWU said, “Well we hope they will bring notice to the problems faced by students, and some faculty, that are faced with the problems that fall under this umbrella. However, on a more happy note this board as a whole is definitely a step in the right direction! And I can’t wait to see what they do.”
By Joseph Cooper