This month, App State will honor veterans and other members of our military community during Heroes Week Nov. 3-10, 2023 Military Mountaineer Homecoming Nov. 3-4 and Veterans Day on Nov. 10. The Office of Diversity is committed to supporting this valued population of Mountaineers by helping them transition from military service to civilian life — or balance the two. In addition, November is National Native American Heritage Month, and there is a variety of programming planned for those who wish to participate.
In 2021, in response to student and employee feedback through surveys and other channels, Chancellor Sheri Everts charged an App State working group to study the need for a formal process to report bias-related incidents and hate incidents that do not rise to the level of policy or code violations. After assessing campus feedback, analyzing our current campus environments and studying reporting processes at peer institutions, the working group developed a protocol for our university: App State’s Campus Climate Support Program.
I was excited by the enrollment news Chancellor Everts shared on Sept. 8, as App State’s enrollment broke records for first-year, online and underrepresented students. While the population of full-time students living in Boone remains essentially the same, our most diverse student body ever includes 19% racially and/or ethnically diverse students, 31% first-generation students and 31% rural students.
With the 2022–23 academic year behind us, the Office of Diversity is focused this summer on several important events and initiatives that foster a greater sense of belonging at the local, national and global levels.
In the space between the end of one academic year and the beginning of another, I enjoy taking the time to reflect upon all that our university does to equip our students with the knowledge, skills and experiences they need to be successful in the next chapter of their lives.
App State defines diversity on our campus as diversity of thought, belief and community. This broad approach intentionally includes many identities, such as race, gender, first-generation status, low-income status, veteran status, religion, neurodiversity, disability and political affiliation.
On behalf of the App State leadership and community, I would like to express my support to our Jewish community following last night’s incident at the Temple of the High Country, where a Nazi flag was draped over the Temple’s sign. While the flag was not displayed on campus, such an expression of hatred and anti-semitism impacts the wellbeing and sense of safety and belonging that all members of our campus community deserve.
App State will launch our first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Climate Survey for employees and students tomorrow. This survey is a great opportunity for the university to hear from every Mountaineer, so please make sure your voice is heard. EXPRESS YOSEF by completing the survey!
As we begin a new semester and a new year. I’m pleased to provide you with an update on App State’s universitywide diversity and inclusion initiatives. Next month, App State will continue a longstanding tradition of celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with two signature events that continue key aspects of his legacy: a day of service and a distinguished speaker focused on changing our world for the better.
November is Native American Heritage Month, when our country recognizes the significant contributions of America’s Indigenous peoples. App State has planned several activities this month to celebrate our nation’s Native American heritage, building upon the Oct. 24 Gadugi Fall Speaker Series event “Voting in Indian Country: The View from the Trenches” and the Nov. 2 showing of “Powerlands” (part of the American Indian Film Series).