College recognized for diversity efforts

This summer, the College was recognized for its efforts to promote diversity on campus by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U).

The citation is a result of a study of campus diversity initiatives at New Jersey’s colleges and universities. Fifty institutes of higher learning in New Jersey were asked to take part in the study which began in October 2004, with 22 participating.

The College is one of three institutions whose case studies are being featured on, a comprehensive guide of campus practices and resources about diversity in higher education, created and maintained by AAC&U. Bloomfield College and Rutgers University were also recognized.

According to the College’s case study, “the balance that (the College) has been able to strike between institutional support and grassroots efforts has led to a comprehensive and effective diversity initiative that continues to grow.

“The College has developed a qualitative admissions system, dubbed “inclusive selectivity.” This ongoing development will help form a student body whose diversity can serve as an educational resource, according to the case study.

The case study also said inclusion is a central element of the College’s diversity initiative and inclusive processes that are found both academically and socially. An example used in the study was the Student Government Association’s (SGA) recent addition of the Committee of Equity and Diversity.

SGA vice president of Equity and Diversity, Joanna Holguin, said the College promotes diversity in many ways, from the new office of Equity and Diversity to the classes offered in African American studies and women and gender studies.

“I think that (the College) is deserving of being cited for their efforts to promote diversity because I have seen that there are people in the administration working hard to make (the College) a diverse and inclusive campus community,” Holguin said.

“There are students, faculty and staff working to make (the College’s) students aware and appreciative of the different cultures, ideologies and sexual preferences that exist on our campus,” Holguin said.

Jerusalem Howard, director of Equity and Diversity at the College, said he thinks that the College has a climate in which people can be comfortable bringing up issues of diversity.

“We’ve come a long way in a short period of time, but we still have opportunities to improve,” he said.

The case study adds that College President R. Barbara Gitenstein believes the institution still has work to do, but with continued support, the College’s diversity initiatives will continue to thrive.