DEIJ Summit puts focus on being a student-ready campus

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Faculty and staff across the Washington State University system can explore what a student-ready campus looks like during the virtual Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice Summit on Tuesday, Nov. 7, from 10 a.m. to noon. Participants must register to attend.

Institutions are becoming student-ready by changing policies, processes, and practices to better serve students and reduce barriers to success. The summit will feature an overview of what it means to be a student-ready campus, breakout sessions, and a panel discussion. The breakout discussions will focus on how WSU can better serve international students, first-generation students, and students of color and will be led by experts in those areas. A complete list of sessions and speakers is available online.

Event organizer Matthew Jeffries, assistant dean of students and director of Campus Climate and Community Building in Student Affairs, said the topic is very relevant for WSU as the university experiences steady growth among many underrepresented groups. More than one in three WSU students are first generation, one in four are students of color, and there are over 1,400 international students enrolled system-wide this fall.

“We have a lot of students coming from backgrounds who were not considered when our model of higher education was created,” said Jeffries. “The summit will look at our most vulnerable students and examine how to create systems that benefit them, and at the same time, positively impact everyone else.”

Jeffries said he is especially excited about the panel discussion, which will include perspectives from faculty and staff around the WSU system, including a lead undergraduate advisor, a counselor, a vice chancellor of academic engagement, and several leaders in Student Affairs.

“All of our panelists are strong student advocates who care deeply about the student experience,” Jeffries said. “They bring such different professional experiences that I think their conversations will be rich and educational.”

Opening remarks will be given by Paul Pitre, chancellor at WSU Everett. Ellen Taylor, vice chancellor for Student Affairs at WSU Pullman, will provide closing comments.

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