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Top 3 DEI Tips for Higher Education Administrators

Ensuring the presence of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) on your campus can be difficult, especially when the barriers to DEI initiatives are deeply rooted in systemic, societal issues. So today, we’re sharing a few ways that you can bring campus awareness to social realities in your community. 

  1. Introduce students to their new community

Students going to college for the first time are often unfamiliar with the community they are moving into. Help introduce them to their new community through their first-year orientation. You can do this by partnering with organizations in your area that actively educate and work against systemic injustices in your local community and letting the students decide what they are most eager to learn about. Post these as opportunities and events to your GivePulse home page for students to easily access, and encourage them to stay involved through an internship and ongoing volunteering. These learning opportunities can expose them to realities they might not have experienced in their hometowns, such as food insecurity, environmental sustainability, healthcare, education, and more.

Pro Tip: Use the pre and post-survey feature on GivePulse to get a deeper understanding of what students took away from these events and to evaluate their effectiveness. 

  1. Create a focus year

Bring visibility to social realities by choosing to focus your social impacts on a cause that directly affects your community. From food and housing insecurities to health and wealth disparities, we make this easy by allowing admins to categorize events based on the Sustainable Development Goals they support. Throughout the year, encourage students to take courses from professors who are educated on the topic your campus chooses, read a book on the subject, or get involved with local organizations directly involved with your chosen focus topic. In addition to partnering with local communities, your university can also invite authors, researchers, or individuals with lived experience to give a lecture to your student body. 

Pro tip: You can use your University GivePulse platform to keep track of the involvement students have throughout the year with the given topic, request quarterly surveys, and even make announcements for new upcoming events your institution has planned.

  1. Create a service week

Whether or not you choose to initiate a focus year, your institution can implement a service week. Partner with local organizations in need of support, and encourage students to get involved as much as they can throughout the week. You can list and manage the eventstrack the impacts (hours, goods, and services) your students have made through the GivePulse app or website, and you can even set a goal that reflects how many impacts you aim to make during your service week. 

Pro tip: Incentivise students to participate during your campus service week by letting them know that if your institution reaches a certain number of impacts, they will get to vote on a special event that the campus holds later in the year.

It’s necessary to take active and purposeful steps toward building Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion practices on your campus. We hope these tips provided helpful insights for you no matter where you are in the process of creating or rethinking your DEI initiatives. To learn how GivePulse can further support your efforts, schedule a call with a success manager.

Additional Resources

7 Steps Towards Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Accessibility Resources to Increase Inclusion of Volunteers with Disabilities

About the Author

Olivia Corcoran is the Communications and Marketing Intern at GivePulse. She has a background in Liberal Arts and Sciences and experience in the nonprofit space. When she’s not cooking or painting, you can find her watching 1990s horror movies and keeping her plants alive through midwest winters. Olivia also enjoys collecting beach glass, making soup, and photography.

Published in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Higher Education